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VISIT SWEDEN PUMA

Day 8

Hlsningar frn Puma

We have been invaded, overrun and consigned to penal servitude (no change there you might think) by the Swedes, or at least by one of them! How can this have happened I can hear you asking was it boarding from long boats or whatever their current navy deploys? No! Was it then, because Puma strayed into Swedish territorial waters? Close followers of the RBI by tracker or blog may have noticed that we have been prone to take the scenic route. I need only refer to the diversion into Great Yarmouth as a case in point, not that the cheeky Pinot wasnt appreciated! So maybe our navigator mixed Muckle Flugga with Gothenburg you must concede that by his standards they do sound much alike. Wrong again. This Swede came under cover as an expat from Brussels, and has then raced all season with us.

I refer of course to Lisa Emelia, an archetypal Scandanavian as we all know them also a diplomat by profession (though she does her best not to bring her work to the boat).

This infiltration has all the hallmark of a professional operation because on the surface nothing has changed. Philippe is still in charge and we are still racing hard. However under the surface change continues apace. Old established values are being questioned, certainties are now only possibilities, truths may have a ring of falsehood, doubts have been established. A good example of this is the attitude to food!

No more crisps, confectionary, marmite, etc Even the cheese has disappeared!

The respective crews of Puma over the years have much enjoyed the superb meals provided by Allie (prepared and cooked by her for short races) and the same is true on this voyage. However we have always topped up between meals with copious amounts of chocolate bars mars, kitkat etc and crisps.

Not any more! All such confectionary has been replaced by fruit apples, pears, oranges, bananas, et al and carrots, yes raw carrots! Not only has the fruit appeared but the chocolate and crisps have mysteriously disappeared. We would normally expect to have at least 2 boxes (plastic, 35L capacity, clip on lid, you know the type) full of sweeties. Instead we have 4 maybe 5 such boxes full to overflowing with fruit an absolutely no sign of the chocky boxes. Fiendish these Swedes no mean trick to secret away 2 such boxes on a boat the size of Puma.

Picture if you can, English afternoon tea with Philippe and the other crew members on watch crunching away on raw carrots.

Breakfast has become a bi nation affair. The Swedes have joined forces with the Scots in an unholy alliance shades of Bonney Prince Charlie.

Just as a brief explanation we are split into 2 watches A team and Grey team. There are no prizes as to the author of these titles, look no further than Paul, Alan or Phil of the so called A team discount Rob because he only joined them on a free transfer on Wednesday. The remainder Peter B, Peter B (Parker), Lisa (Lady P) and your scribe form the other team. There are 5 watches each 24 hrs, so it will be immediately apparent to the mathematicians amongst you that the watches alternate from day to day.

Since the establishment of the new, but as yet unheralded, regime, breakfast is either Scottish (Alan) or Swedish. Alan has stuck to a tried and tested system of serving porridge which appears to the casual observer (me in this case) to be much appreciated. Breakfast la Lisa is a large bowl of fresh fruit muesli with aforesaid fruit together with nuts, raisins, 4 different types of seeds and sundry other strange ingredients covered in milk. All 7 members of the crew(well someone has to drive) are invited, nay expected, to attend at 8am sharp for breakfast under the benign eye of Lisa, or Lady P as she has become known, accompanied by the soft tones of the Levellers and Beautiful Day

The indoctrination must be working because I for one absolutely love it!

Long live the Swedish traditions!

Cheers.

Brian

Allie Smith

Managing Director

Sailing Logic Ltd

Shamrock Quay Marina

Southampton

SO14 5QL

T 02380 330999

M 07770 560950

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