No announcement yet.

Keeping It Clean In The Southern Ocean


  • Keeping It Clean In The Southern Ocean

    After about 10 days in the Southern Ocean, I wake up this morning to the boat broaching. I stop her from broaching only to realize it is freezing outside! The sun is up, it comes up around 4am UTC, there are some cumulus clouds floating about but what broached the boat was a little squall bringing 26 knots after a night of 18-20knots. The boat doesn’t like the sudden change in breeze strength and direction making her wipe out slightly. It’s a gentle broach and easily fixed by easing the main. I run back down after she is settled and I crawl back under my 12V heated blanket in my fleece nest. As I snuggle back into bed I notice everything is wet. My gear is wet, the windows are wet, the whole boat feels damp. There is water sloshing in the bilge behind the companionway stairs. The last 10 days have included 3 windy and wet low pressure systems. They have come and shown 20-50 knots of breeze and then left to leave a beautiful sunny day. Today was no different. As I walked out of the low yesterday the squalls still came but instead of 40-50 knots of breeze they only blew a maximum of 35.

    After looking around I realized it was time to get to work. I needed to warm up. I went looking for my mustang survival body suit to put under my insulated Carharts. I needed to charge up my batteries-the hydro doesn’t do very well when surging down waves and there hasn’t been much sun for the solar to charge. So I turned the engine on and started the laundry. I washed a few items and hung them to dry on the engine compartment door. Then after some sponging of the bilge, adding more silicone to areas that are leaking, it was time to heat up the water to shower. My jet boil only boils two cups at a time so I boiled a few times and then poured into a bucket. I then added cold water to the bucket to cool the boiling water to a decent temperature. I then set up my towel, soap and random cup. I put my head over the bucket and took the cup and scooped up perfectly warmed water over my very dirty and salty hair. After a proper shampoo. Shampoo, rinse and repeat. I finally dumped the water and created another round of boiling water to start the process again. I then rinsed my hair one more time and then started my body. I remember being a kid-we didn’t have much money when I was younger-and my mother would sit my sister and I in the bath the same way; grab the wash cloth and shampoo. She would take that random cup and scoop the warm water over our heads and shampoo us, as she sat on the floor of the bathroom. All in the same motion she would grab the wash cloth and pull our arms up and drop them down. She was so quick but so gentle. This exact moment, in the middle of the southern ocean, reminds me of that childhood moment. Of my mother. Feeling that warm water on my face, neck. Tasting the salt as it leaves my hair.

    I realized in that moment that I also needed to boil some water for breakfast and a cup of tea. While I finish my hair I cooked my freeze dried breakfast. Then I thought, Oh! My rigger has been telling me to take warm water to the main cars to held get rid of the salt! So after breakfast was cooked, I made more boiling water to run upstairs to the mast and clean the salt from the mast cars. My hair in my pink head wrap and all. Lastly I made a little more hot water to run around the boat getting the crusty salt off of a few blocks and things that like to turn. For the rest of the day I felt clean, refreshed, but also calm. I had gotten so many things done; but it all went back to that wonderful bath. Something I desperately needed. But it brings not only cleanliness but also the necessary calmness after the storm. So I dare you dear reader, make a cup of tea or draw up a bath. Even in the Southern Ocean I try to have these little comforts. These little things that bring me joy. And make me feel at home.

    This is dedicated to my mom and her routine nightly bath. I love you. I miss you everyday.


      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles


    • Third Time Proves To Be The Charm For Team Malolo
      by Photoboy

      June 18, 2024
      The world of media coverage needs things simple. Life is complicated. Depending on how you tilt your head, today’s top story was both. After somewhere between five days and nine years of hard-fought effort, Team Malolo crossed the line and rang in their rightful place in the annals of R2AK.

      It would be easy to chalk up Team Malolo’s early afternoon
      06-19-2024, 11:50 AM
    • A Wet And Wild Ride Around The Isle Of Wight
      by Photoboy

      A wet and wild edition of Round the Island Race
      Author: Jo Bowden Date: 13:22 Sunday 16 Jun 2024

      It was certainly a race to remember with crews battling the heavy conditions, especially around the Needles and the reach to St Catherine’s Point.

      Race Director, Dave Atkinson said: “This race was a challenge for both the competitors and the Race Team at the Island Sailing Club, with the safety and well-being of the crews being the main priority.
      06-18-2024, 12:19 PM
    • A Dramatic Finish At The Annual Regatta
      by Photoboy

      Vesper Hangs Tough to Claim Overall ORC Win in 170th Annual Regatta
      Newport, R.I. — On a light-air, four-race day, the final standings in a top-flight competitive fleet are as likely to come down to the mistakes you avoid as the things you do right. That was the case in ORC B at the 170th Annual Regatta. David Team’s Vesper squad fought all day with rival Fox, skippered by Victor Wild, doing most everything as right as can be expected on a very challenging day.

      06-17-2024, 11:29 AM
    • Dalin Takes Line Honors
      by Photoboy
      6/9/24 RACE

      Jean-Louis Carli / Alea

      After leading the 28 boat IMOCA fleet since last Monday morning, and today holding a margin of over 300 miles over second place, French skipper Charlie Dalin tonight completed an emphatic victory on the 3200 nautical miles New York Vendee Les Sables d’Olonne solo race across the North Atlantic.

      06-14-2024, 09:53 AM
    • Consistency Pays Dividends In Newport
      by Photoboy

      After winning the second race today Quantum Racing powered by American Magic have now taking three winning guns from four starts at the XS 52 SUPER SERIES Newport Trophy to lead by eight points ahead of the Thai flagged Team Vayu.

      Sticking to their key principles of keeping everything as simple as possible, sailing low risk and using their excellent boatspeed the New York Yacht Club team were fourth in the first race which was
      06-13-2024, 11:25 AM
    • CORW Concludes In Sunny San Diego
      by Photoboy
      Kenny Keiding and John Vincent's Argo 4 Wins Overall California Offshore Race Week

      The 2024 CA Offshore Race Week featured 90 boats and over 400 sailors racing throughout the three events of the series which is in its 8th year, annually occurring around Memorial Day Weekend.

      John Brynjolfsson (TP52, Saga) described the race experience best saying, “Few experiences can rival the thrill of sailing with Saga's seasoned crew under the iconic Golden
      06-03-2024, 04:46 PM