Sleep. You might think that the important part of the watch system for the Voyage Crew is the times we are on watch, but you would be mistaken. You might think days are structured around meals but – awesome though the galley might be – this is not the case. The days are structured around sleep, and sleep is structured around watches.
Sleep. We in the Voyage Crew have it easy, only on duty for six to ten hours a day. And even “on duty” involves two-thirds of the time on standby in the deckhouse, waiting for the call to pull a rope or ten, presumably to give us a reason to coil a rope or ten. Yet stand-by often seems to be snooze-by, as the need for sleep dominates the not-so-waking hours.
Sleep. The sun is shining, and it is a beautiful if chilly afternoon, the boat is moving nicely, there are albatrosses aplenty and rumours of whales, yet the question on many minds is whether to catch a few hours sleep or not. Talks are repeated and the decision as to which to attend is driven partly by watch schedules, and primarily by maximising the potential blocks of uninterrupted sleep.
Sleep. For the permanent crew there is no such dilemma. On watch, they work continuously – cleaning, maintaining, repairing, cooking, clearing up, lecturing, serving and if they are lucky, a few moments where they can do some sailing. And off-watch they eat and sleep. Life is simpler when options are restricted.
Sleep. Earlier in the voyage, the movement of the boat was feared for the nausea which resulted. As everyone develops their sea-legs, the rolling becomes an annoyance which wakes us from our delicious rest.
Sleep. I would write more, but it’s nap-time - I want to be rested for South Georgia. To sleep, perchance to dream...