Following on from yesterday’s blog about my aft cabin, here’s the detail about the “living area” – which could best be described as compact. Or maybe “bijou” in real-estate speak.

Between the foot of my bunk and the exit hatch to the cockpit I have just about 20 inches of space. At this end of the cabin the ceiling is just high enough for me to sit upright, although due to unfortunate placement of my EPIRB emergency beacon I have to hold my neck cricked forwards while I am sitting writing this blog. To be remedied before the next stage.

On one side (pictured) I have the control panel and a set of wall pockets, and a fair amount of stuff on the cabin floor. On the control panel, from the top and going down the middle: Battery monitor Chartplotter (not currently in use as the GPS antenna isn’t working) VHF radio (stopped working about a month ago – I’m now relying on the handhelf VHF) Stereo Then on the left, the two boxes of the Sea-Me – a radar enhancer which also tells me when another vessel is in the vicinity with a flashing red light and an alarm And on the right a switch panel which controls various things including the watermaker (not working)

You can also see in this picture a mug holder (being used for my jar of tahini, which I mix with beansprouts and nuts for lunch) and a stainless steel mug. Sprouting above them is the bendy arm of a small halogen light – the main light source in the cabin, by which I am typing this.

Below the control panel is a switch box which controls the flow of power from solar panels to charge controllers to batteries, so that if any component of this system fails I can route the electricity around the defective unit.

The wall pockets hold various items, including the Flip Marker I use on the whiteboard to cross out each line of longitude as I cross it. Plus pens, pencils, WD-40 and the day’s ration of Larabars.

On the cabin floor beneath has accumulated quite a pile of stuff. It’s not good practice to have it unstowed – if I capsized all these items would fly around and make an awful mess (and I speak from experience) but conditions at the moment mean that capsize is unlikely, so I’m taking the risk for the sake of convenience. In this general area I have: Video camera – handheld (in a waterproof case) Tomtom GPS (in a waterproof case) Satphone (in Pelican case) Inverter (converts DC current to AC current for some rechargeable items) Main recording deck for video cameras attached to boat (not currently working) Wet wipes in a ziplock bag Bag Balm Chart protractor Eyeglasses Notebook Kayak bag containing various dry food items – mixed nuts, tamari sunflower seeds and almonds, nama shoyu sauce, Larabars, buckwheat crackers, jerky etc.

Beneath the hatch is secured a small case containing knives, forks and spoons. Above the hatch are a fire extinguisher, diving knife, and stereo speakers.

On the other side of the hatch is my “dressing table” – a washbag fixed to the bulkhead, containing toothbrush, toothpaste, moisturizer, hand cream, lip salve, and various things that are supposed to help alleviate the spots caused by prolonged exposure to salt water. Also a very small mirror that allows inspection of aforementioned spots (which are generally in places not easily seen but all too keenly felt), weatherbeaten face, unwashed hair etc. This mirror is not my friend.

And that’s more or less it. Generally in my little world I can put my hand on anything as I need it. A place for everything, and everything in its place. Except for the things that aren’t.

Other stuff:

Position at 2130 16th August HST, 0730 17th August UTC: 22 46.711’N, 149 31.091’W.

If you haven’t yet voted in the Amex grants then please do. If I don’t place in the top 25 by the 19th then I don’t make it onto the shortlist. and that has to be the top 25 overall, not just the top 25 in the environmental section. Every vote counts – so please pass the news on to all your friends. Let’s go viral!

Thanks for all the comments and messages. Always good to hear from you.

Special hello to Ruth Crewe (Crewe surely a great name for a rower!) and all at my old club OUWLRC.

Martine – thanks for your generous words, but au contraire, YOU inspire ME! You have coped with so much, really tough stuff, and you just keep on going. I have it easy.

Caroline – hope you enjoyed your retreat as much as I did, and got out of it whatever it was that you went in search of. see you in the UK in November, I hope!

I hear from Mum that the JUNK Males put up a great blog about our Great Pacific Get-Together. I’m really looking forward to seeing it. Am still basking in the good memories of the encounter – and looking forward to catching up with the guys when I get to Hawaii.!

Click here to view 23 February 2006 After missing one day, Rita wrote “Substitute Again.”

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