A mugs game?
Guest blog by Vassili Papastavrou
There is nothing like a good mug of tea on board. But offering the other crew members some tea is not entirely straightforward. We are sailing close-hauled so everything is at an angle. Worse still the waves and swell are big and so the boat lurches around.
To start, you make your way down to the galley. Holding on with one hand, you then pick up the kettle with your other hand. With your third hand, you turn the tap on. Using the brief respite while the kettle boils you arrange a line of mugs and quietly remind yourself who is having what (some with, some without sugar, some without milk even, a roibush, a green tea and maybe a herbal tea to boot. When the kettle has boiled you have to get the hot water into each mug and not all over your foot. Imagine trying to fill an egg cup with a watering can: this requires the same level of dexterity. Assuming success at this stage (not guaranteed by any means), the next part of the process is to get the tea on deck. You carry one mug of tea to the first companionway step, brace yourself, wait for the lurch, choose your moment and ascend one step. Then slowly carry on up the other remaining steps. Round the corner you are in sight of the cockpit. If you are lucky there will be someone seated outside to whom you can pass the first mug of tea. Repeat nine times.
Youd think the hard part is now over. Not so. Roger has noticed that when it is windy, the tea stays in the mug until, that is you raise the mug to your lips to try and drink it. The turbulence of the wind around your head causes the tea to be blown out of the mug and onto your face thus creating a storm in a tea cup.
(No mugs of tea were spilled during the writing of the blog or the taking of the photograph)