I am in hiding – from the sun. This might sound a bit pathetic for an intrepid adventurer – but there again I’ve never made any particular pretence at being intrepid, and when it becomes simply too painful to have the sun shining on me, I’m not too proud to hide out in my cabin until sunset. Like a vampire.
I got caught out this morning. There had been a lot of rain overnight (with steady drips from a small leak in my cabin, the source of which I cannot locate) and this morning was still heavily overcast and grey.
Silly me – I know it’s still possible to get sunburned through cloud. But it seemed such substantial cloud. Anyway, by the time I realised what was happening it was too late. I hadn’t put on my lovely organic Green People sunscreen and now I am paying the price. At times like this I curse having had a ginger-haired father. I have many things to thank him for, but my tendency to turn lobster-red in the tropics is not one of them.
Even though it is now nearly 5.30pm and the sun sets in just over an hour, there is still enough strength in it to make my skin feel like red-hot needles are being poked into it. So it seemed a good time to take cover and write a blog.
I’ve thought about going totally nocturnal. Now I have a fan in my cabin, this could in theory work quite well. During the day I have plenty enough solar power to keep the fan going nonstop, so the cabin is comparatively tolerable. And the nights are cooler – with no risk of sunburn.
Trouble is, I am whatever the opposite of a night owl might be. Come the darkness, comes the doziness. My body just wants to shut down and go to sleep. I can stay up all night when sufficiently stimulated by good company and good wine – but neither are available out here.
Any tips from nightshift workers on how to turn my body clock upside down?
Today’s audiobook – not so good. Called Blackout. By Connie Wills. I can’t wait for it to end, in fact. Seems like forever the 3 time travellers have been running around trying to figure out how to get back from World War II to 2060. The book could have been a third of the length. And should have been. As one book critic once wrote of another book, “The main problem with this book is that its covers are too far apart.”
And the narrator isn’t much better. She has the most peculiarly affected English accent, so that passengers is pronounced “parsengers”, passages as “parsages”, and she generally sounds like a cross between Sybil Fawlty and a particularly priggish schoolmarm.
But as perseverance is the name of the game, I will grit my teeth and see it through.
Its one redeeming feature is that I am learning a bit more about London during the Blitz – the sustained aerial bombing campaign waged by the Luftwaffe during World War II. Solidarity in the face of adversity became the “spirit of the Blitz” – when Londoners of all social strata united in their determination not to let the ongoing bombardment dent their morale.
Makes me think that environmental issues would be a lot more easily tackled if we had an identifiable enemy to unite against. If my enemy’s enemy is my friend, humanity needs a shared enemy so we can stop pointing fingers at each other and get on with tackling the REAL problem.
Oh but hang on, the problem is us.
Enjoyed this morning’s podcast with Dr Kiki Sanford, with special guest Marcus Eriksen. We enjoyed uninterrupted satphone connection, and a really interesting conversation about plastic pollution. Check it out. Oh, and Marcus, I forgot to ask you to pass along my thanks to Anna’s mum for the cookies. They were yummy!
Amongst other things, we discussed what can be done to clean up the North Pacific Garbage Patch. Probably not much. But we can avoid making it worse. If you’re still using bottled drinking water and accepting plastic bags at the grocery store, please rethink. Add up how many bottles or how many bags you use in a year. Or a lifetime. And then think how much plastic you could save if you invest in a few reusable bags, a water bottle, and a water filter system you keep in your refrigerator. Just because plastic bags don’t cost you anything, doesn’t mean they don’t cost anything at all.
And while you’re at it, sign up for Eco Heroes at ecoheroes.me, and join our merry band of heroes all doing their bit for a greener, cleaner future. Thank you!
And finally – see that button in the top right of my website? Check it out for our fun contest to bet on when I make landfall. Don’t wait – we are only running the contest for a few more weeks. After that it will get too easy so we’ll end it long before the end of my voyage. Carpe diem!