A typical morning for a watch will start with a wake up call around 05:30 to get dressed and make and have breakfast. Breakfasts are usually something simple such as instant oatmeal with canned fruit mixed in except for every 5th day where we are treated to Mort's famous pancakes complete with fresh fruit mixed into the batter, syrup, and whipped cream on top. Mornings are also when the new weather data is downloaded and fed into Expedition, our special navigation software, by our navigator Gunnar. The software uses the weather data and the boat characteristics to project the optimum route to Hawaii, given our present position as a starting point. Gunnar will use the software's prediction combined with his decades of sailing experience -- including 3 previous Vic-Maui's -- to provide a course heading for the new watch. Such updates are usually provided once in the morning and once in the evening but Gunnar gives additional updates during the day or night where weather conditions are changing fast or where the weather prediction didn't quite turn out as expected.
On any one watch, the watch team will all take turns at the helm; usually for an hour but sometimes less if the weather or sea state conditions are particularly challenging; especially at night. If there is something going on other than just driving the boat, such as a sail change, the watch team will man their primary positions: driver, trimmer, foredeck, trimmer/mast. If required, some or all of the watch on break may be called up to help for
challenging sail changes such as during the middle of the night, or in rough seas and strong winds. However, if time allows for it, sail changes in challenging conditions are usually timed to occur at the watch changes so
people aren't disturbed during their break/sleep.
Lunches are usually sandwiches made by the team that is about to come on watch. Lunches also include a selection of fresh fruit (a big hit by the way), instant noodles, or other similar types of snacks, etc. to go with the
sandwich for the extra hungry team members. A calculation is also made at noon each day to determine how much total distance has been covered by both teams combined over the last 24 hours. Our best one day total so far occurred on July 8th at 233 NM, a number we're very happy about.
Dinners are also made by the oncoming watch. Dinners are comprised of pre-made, prepackaged and pre-frozen home cooked meals made by either a member of the team or someone in their family. We've been really spoiled
with the absolutely fantastic dinners we've had so far; it is a real highlight to look forward to after a day of sailing. I don't think there's a boat out there that eats as well as we do. And given you're being constantly bounced around down below deck by the water and the waves, (and the wind), it is hard enough just to reheat and serve up the dinners we have; it'd simply be impractical to try to make the kinds of dinners we've been eating from scratch. On some days it is nearly impossible to stand in the galley without being tethered in place and for those crew members have tried to do it, they've usually ended up having a wild ride from the high side of the cabin down to the lee side. And the other big plus is that most of the time, you want to eat and hit the hay as soon as possible to try to get as much sleep as time will allow, or to get up on deck as quickly as possible to relieve the previous watch. A big thank you from the team to all of the cooks!
The watch that is on the 22:00 to 02:00 shift gets a special treat - first pickings of the treats from the 00:00 grab bag. The grab bag is a large ziplock bag full of a wide assortment of the team member's favorite treats and snacks (usually, but not always, something unhealthy). These are particularly helpful in providing a much needed energy boost on the night watches but there's enough in each bag to last the full 24 hours watch cycle. The general consensus thus far among the team is that the mix of treats in the grab bags this year are bang on (although because of the great meals we've been having for dinner, there are lots of left overs in each grab bag).
Signed: Bats Are Not As Nuts As Boys Racing Extreme All Day.