8th September 2016 by Sabine:
Dario wakes me at quarter to midnight for my watch and asks: “Can you take over and watch out there are many shoals and I’ve been awake until now. I’ve barely slept for 36 hours straight.” (Dario slept at our new friends house and Alegra had an earache all night, so he didn’t sleep at all.) I’ve only slept an hour too but I agree to. I slowly pull myself away from Mia, who sleeping very close to me. I put on my Arcteryx jacket and trousers. Every time I am so grateful for these warm clothes. I have never had to put on more than three layers!
I study the chart and shoals, make myself a tea and go on Deck. Meret hands over to me by giving me all the infos on wind, waves and the condition of our ice crasher. There’s 31 knots of wind and the waves are quite big, but our ice crasher is ok. I cherish this one hour of piece and quiet all to myself. My thoughts drift to the 8 meter high waves, that you can get here because it’s so shallow! I try to picture them, half the length of Pachamama! I tell myself I need to stop thinking about things like that. So I think back to the wonderful time we had with our new friends, Susan’s family. Susan comes from a family with 8 siblings and 6 adopted siblings. Adopting and giving away children seems no problem or almost normal here. Multiple times I get asked if I would leave Mia here! Every time Mia gives me a questioning look, as if she had understood what they were asking!
1am: Christina comes to take over. The wind picks up and I secretly hope it doesn’t increase too much because then I’d have to leave my comfy warm bed so soon again. Until I’ve finished studying the charts in detail, it’s Cornelia’s watch already. She checks the ice crasher and says one of the bands looks like it may rip soon. 02.15: I go to bed and snuggle in next to Mia. I’m gone instantly.
3am: we are heeling over so far that I have to constantly … in order to not role onto Mia. I get a cramp so I switch sides.
5am: Two ice cold hands wake me and look for my breasts. Mia’s favorite way to sleep is with her hands above her head and not under the duvet! I breastfeed her and warm up her hands.
6am: I get up for my morning watch (6-8am). I go to the side of the boat and breath in the pure air. The sun finds its way to my face and I enjoy the moment.
07.30: I check the ice crasher and see that the orange band is completely worn through.
08.15: Cornelia takes over and we set the sails right. Afterwards I start to cook breakfast. We are very late today, usually we get up at 7am. But since everyone is really tired I let them sleep.
9am: I wake up all the children and give them ‘cream of wheat’ hot cereal, it feels good to eat something warm. We are eating almost the double of what we usually eat, you can tell we are in the cold.
10am: Meret gets up for her watch and together with Dario and Cornelia we take in the ice crasher.
10.40: I think I can finally lie down for a few minutes but Mia is awake, has full nappies and is hungry. I grate half and apple for her and mix in some porridge. She eats a lot and watches her siblings and Christina doing school intently.
11.15: I breast feed Mia and hope she will sleep but she happily babbles to herself. When she finally falls asleep around 11.40, Andri and Noé’s screaming wake her up shortly after. Hmmm, I guess that’s it, for my attempt to nap. I give Mia to Dario and prepare 1/4 of an orange for everyone, it’s the kids break, as Christina’s watch starts at 12.
12pm: I note down our coordinates in the logbook. The air temperature is at 3 degrees, inside the boat we measure 10.
12.30: I help the kids with their homework before breastfeeding Mia again at 1pm. She finally falls asleep, so I sneak away to warmup the leftovers we are having for lunch and we eat. After eating we had to wash up our dishes as fast as possible, so the oil doesn’t freeze. I do everything quickly so that I can hopefully sleep a bit before Mia wakes up again.
14.50: Cornelia has watch, Meret is writing a report and Dario is checks the weather. Finally, I can lie down. But before I can even enter my bedroom, someone starts calling: “Aaah, aahaah!” Mia beams at me! Hmm, I get into bed anyway. She starts playing and standing up. I almost sleep but Mia loves holding on to my nose or nibbling at my ears! No chance of sleeping. She is so content and happy, that my heart fills with joy. I know like all other children she is a present from heaven. Her Inuit name, which she got from elder Helen in Cambridge Bay, is Aleeasuk. It means happy. A perfect match.
15.40: Noé comes into my room, he is finished with school. I ask him to look after Mia, he takes her. I nap for half an hour. Then I cook the usual carrots and potatoes for Mia since she won’t eat any readymade or bought baby food. Then I start cooking dinner, sweet and sour rice with vegetables or along those lines. My fresh veggies are dwindling rapidly. We are all looking forward to a fresh green salad. While I cook Mia sits on the fridge next to me and chews on a carrot. I’m supposed to quiz Andri on his times tables but he’s faster than I am. I realize I can’t do three things at once!
18.30: We eat dinner. It’s a little tight in the cockpit, as the ice crasher lives here now again!
19.30: I breastfeed Mia and she falls asleep. So I play a card game with Salina, Andri, Noé and Alegra. It’s called ‘speedy’. I enjoy spending time with them like this. 20.45: Mia wakes up again and we all sing and pray together.
22.00: We all go to bed, I only have one wish: to sleep as deeply as a polar bear in hibernation! Good night!