Jamaica has an international mix of crew – which makes for interesting
conversation when it comes to whiling away the hours on watch but something
of a challenge for the victuallers when it comes to buying provisions. Being
a victualler you need to have clairvoyancy on one hand + a thick skin on the
other. Mind-reading because you need to know what people want even when they
haven’t told you + a thick skin because you don’t have an A-level in second-
The food on Jamaica – at least for the last two legs – has been nothing short
of amazing given the camping gas stove we have to cook on. At the beginning
it was all planned menus – it’s Thursday therefore it must be chilli mince
sort of thing. But that went out the window + now the victuallers just buy
food + the mothers make what they will with the ingredients. The serving
sizes are international. At mealtimes we have 3 serving sizes – ‘Polish’,
‘regular’ and ‘feeling seasick-size’.
The menu is pretty international too although breakfast is the meal when
national preferences are clung to most determinedly. But when the weather is
cold + wet hot food with a major calorie count is what we look forward to
most + this is where the British love of real puddings comes into its own.
Steamed pudding + custard – can’t be beaten. Cracking pudding Grommet!
We’re nearing the end of Race 15 – 3 hours to the finish line. The North Sea
has repeatedly thrown down the weather challenge gauntlet + we have risen to
each change. This morning clinging to the high rail it was like sitting in an
eerie looking down on the vertical drop that was the deck. Now the wind has
dropped + once more we are trundling along at 7 knots still trying to eke
what we can out of what’s left of the wind. Still trying very hard not to be
the 12th boat – Africa + Quingdao still ahead of us for the catching.