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>> 5 a.m. WAKEY WAKEY STEVE - It's your turn to pedal!!

With space for only one person in the sleeping compartment we have to take it in turns. Each person should in theory get 2 x 3hr sleep periods in any one 24hr period, but this normally amounts to only 4 or 5 total. Long term fatigue results after several weeks of this regime.

>> 6.30 a.m. BREAKFAST usually consists of porridge oats (oatmeal), topped with dried fruit and/or jam to sweeten.

Across the Atlantic we each had a British Army arctic ration pack every 24hrs, supplemented with 4,000 MARS BARS donated by Mars UK!

Each pack contains upwards of 7,000 calories.

>> THE PEDAL ROTA is continous, around the clock, 7-days a week until we reach the other side of the ocean.

In the day a typical shift will last 4hrs. At night, due to the difficulty of staying awake in darkness, a shift will last more like 3hrs. Liken it to a hamster on a treadmill!

>> A HOT SWEATY PEDAL SEAT awaits the next pedaler. Being comfortable with each other's hygiene becomes quite essential.

In addition to the single sleeping compartment, the main reason for having someone pedaling all the time is having a set of eyes permanently scanning the horizon for ships. A cargo ship traveling at 30+ knots could RUN US DOWN in less than 25 mins >>

>> NAVIGATION is one of the chores to be done after breakfast. The person on break will use the Magellan GPS to find a latitude/longitude fix which he/she plots on a marine chart.

This is how we know how far we've come since the last 24hr fix, and whether we need to alter our COMPASS 'HEADING' to keep on track >>

>> SERVICING THE PEDAL UNIT with grease is usually a daily practice in order to ensue that the bearings of the bottom bracket are well lubricated.

And getting a WEATHER FORECAST via the shortwave radio is good to know in case we need to prepare the boat for an approaching storm >>

>> MAKING DRINKING WATER is perhaps the most important task of each day. Moksha's streamlined design means she can only carrry 20 gallons of emergency water, enough to last us just 10 days. Desalinator pump operation.

This is an emergency backup DISTILLATION DEVICE (homemade): steam from boiling seawater is condensed into drinkable water on the inside of this copper tube, itself cooled by immersion in a bucket of cold seawater >>

>> 12.00 p.m. LUNCHTIME is served on the fly: usually a mug of soup accompanied by dried biscuits (wannabe croutons), energy bar and, if early on in the trip, an apple or orange.

COOKING is done on a homemade stove comprising a Camping Gaz Bleuet gas burner hanging from a rear parcel shelf taken from an old bicycle frame; one of the arms is bent over to keep pots and pans from sliding off >>

>> FISHING helps lighten up what can otherwise be a monotonous day. Our secret weapon is 'Lolita the Lure', a regular marlin lure daubed with a rakish splash of eyeliner - irrestible to the dorado fish that follow the boat!

This 50lb DORADO FISH caught with a handline was so huge we had to use a sailbag to land it >>

>> DOCUMENTATION of the voyage in the form of daily written reports sent back via satellite to the website and filming with a video camcorder for the TV documentary series is one of the key chores for the day.

It sometimes takes a concerted effort to have to think of a new update or sit on the bow in front of the VIDEO CAMERA, but recording the story as it unfolds helps keep track of small details that might otherwise easily be lost >>

>> RECREATION time is usually short due to all the other things that need to be done in the average day: often we only have 15-20 minutes to relax. READING helps to escape from the world of never ending shifting blue and, after a month at sea, WRITING in our journals becomes a necessary cathartic outlet for our overactive minds that churn out a mass of thought processes to compensate for the absence of external sensory stimuli >>

>> PLAYING A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT - something small like a harmonica - is a good way to break the 'mental funk' and annoy the hell out of your pedaling partner.

And you never know, you might even serenade a FLYING FISH to jump on board! >>

>> SWIMMING provides a good way to way to cool down after a hot, sweaty pedal shift as well as a way to get away from the boat for a few minutes each day - the equivalent of getting out of the house and going for a walk!

But perhaps the best way to relax is to sit on the deck in the early evening with a CUP of TEA and admire the uninterrupted beauty of the ocean below and sky above >>

>> 6 p.m. As the sun goes down we get into our evening/night routine. This is the most rewarding part of the day: it's cooler for one, and we get to eat our MAIN MEAL for the day; typically a stew with rehydrated vegetables, bean curd (for extra protein) and rice or pasta.

FOOD becomes a major motivating factor as the voyage progresses: partly for something to look forward to, but also to replenish the 1,000's of calories we need each day to keep going >>

>> 8 p.m. AFTER DINNER the person who cooked takes over pedaling for a 3hr shift until 11 p.m. while the other sleeps. He/she is then woken for a 3hr shift until 2 a.m., at which point they sleep for 3hrs until 5 a.m., then get up for the first of the 4hr pedal shifts until 8 a.m. One of the hardest things about nightime pedaling, especially if there is no light from the moon, is to keep focused on the small red compass light without being entranced by its hypnotic motion and FALLING ASLEEP >>

>> back to LIFE ABOARD



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