Doug is not strict about the way watches are conducted. In any case, there is a (seemingly very reliable) automatic pilot called Herbie. Still, it was very pleasant when I took my watch during the early hours to find Radio Australia playing in the cockpit. It really helped the time to go quickly. None of it was stunning, but there was a nice mixture of news, chat, + music. Weather was good today, so no problem getting sights. Doug is impressed with Val’s skills as a navigator – I really should learn this trip. The atmosphere aboard is still good. Thyme is a little bit tatty now, + Doug certainly isn’t houseproud. And that’s the beauty. Everything here is designed for utility + comfort rather than for some concept of attractiveness more suited to a suburban housing estate. If something is spilt here, it’s mopped up – no fuss, no worry. And at any time, we’re allowed, nay positively encouraged, to help ourselves from the larder. The boat is well-stocked, + those things are there to be eaten. Nonetheless, I was hungry at lunchtime, and felt rather awkward about it, since both Doug + Val didn’t eat much (Val is trying to lose some weight.) Still, I was able to overcome my embarrassment + open a can of beans. Doug cooked in the evening, a superb meal – kidneys, roast potatoes, leeks in white sauce.
Quite clearly, we prefer the atmosphere on Thyme – which probably accounts for my not very well disguised rant about life aboard Alma. A tad pompous and judgmental, but there was some residual bitterness there. Not sure about the admission of my own gluttony; I reckon Doug’s generosity could start to wear thin.