Life on a Passage

A passage is both a lot of work and a lot of rest. For Kim and Mark, a day usually consists of waking up or getting off watch and sleeping for an hour, eating breakfast, checking our route, washing dishes, telling me to dry, getting the weather off the SSB, updating the log. Then Kim goes on watch, 11-3, and Mark goes to bed. Lunch is eaten topsides (where they then congratulate me on making lunch in 6 to 8 foot seas on the beam and 20-25 knot winds), Kim finishes her watch, and Mark goes on watch. They eat dinner, congratulate me again, wash dishes, have me dry, update the log, and go to bed.
Anson wakes up and does his watch, 7-11 A.M., reads, eats lunch, reads or watches movies, does lunch dishes, asks me to dry, reads, eats dinner, and does the 7-11 P.M. watch.
I on the other hand do not have watches. I wake up, eat breakfast, do the dishes, read, make lunch, get congratulated, dry the dishes, read or make a treat, make dinner, get congratulated, dry the dishes, read and go to bed.
My job sounds very relaxed, but imagine doing it on a 41-foot boat tossing and turning on big swells that are twice the height of our deck, the wind howling in our rigging and hammering the ocean, drenching us, and tossing us across the cockpit. (By us, I mean Kim, Mark, and Anson; I rarely come up unless I am filling up a water bottle or fetching a hat.) It also makes cooking in the galley hard when you’re sliding over the floor and trying to dodge the sprays of boiling water while stirring the noodles. Making a Baked Good on Board.
On the second day out, I went through my virtual library and found that I didn’t have any good books! Without much else to do I turned to baking. I had been thinking about making cinnamon rolls for several days, so I started the several hour process right then.
I opened cupboards quickly and slammed them shut after timing the waves. Trying to keep one hand on the bowl, I mixed together the wet ingredients then added the dry. I nestled the bowl in a tight corner to rise. As the dough expanded, I made the sauce, bracing myself for each swell. We have only one counter space in our galley and it is over the fridge. I cleaned it, rolled out the dough and spooned on the sauce. I was unprepared for the mess it made! With each swell and with the heeling of our boat the sauce spread out onto the counter. When I chopped the dough into individual pieces and started to cook them, the fridge top was covered in the sticky sauce. The cleanup was hard, but I finished it before the golden treats came out of the oven. They lasted three days and everyone had a piece at tea, and before each watch. It took a lot of perseverance, but in the end it was worth every minute. Devon

PS from Kim Watching Devon bake the cinnamon rolls I realized he had coined a new event: Extreme Baking. To keep his balance, he hopped and slid; to keep items on the counter, he lunged and grabbed. He braced himself in corners and swayed with the waves. The gimballed stove rocked violently with the swells, and he timed his stirring for the seconds of flat. If I could have kept my balance I would have filmed him, but I needed both my hands to stabilize myself in the steep waves off our beam. We could probably make a million by starting a new reality TV show; each episode could feature baking under extreme conditions, with judges evaluating the physical skill and the delicacy!
Of course, after the Extreme Baking comes the Extreme Cleaning. While Devon took care of the counter and put all the ingredients away, I managed to clean all the bowls, pots and spoons with only minor boat bruises from being tossed across the cabin. As Devon said, it was worth it!
Half way to Niue; Latitude 18 degrees 32.4 minutes South; Longitude 161 degrees 17.2 minutes West

PPS Carroll continues to be comfortable in her apartment; daily sat phone calls with her help keep us connected. Mark’s leg is healing beautifully.

2 thoughts on “Life on a Passage

  1. I love your descriptions Devon. You have a flair for writing as well as baking. I’m glad you are all well, I enjoy the glimpses into your adventure. Hugs to all.


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