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Rhapsody - Rhapsody - Day 16: Something fishy

I smell like a fish. I’m not telling you this because it’s something I’m proud of, but if we do meet I don’t want you to think I’m a fan of fish perfume, have some kind of serious medical condition or am trying to impersonate the Little Mermaid. Just don’t be alarmed - breathe through your mouth as we chat and you’ll hardly smell me at all.

To be honest, I think it’s something I’m going to have to learn to live with - like having hairy arms, a weak bladder and alarmingly thick toenails. At first I didn’t think my scaly odour was too overpowering, but I’ve noticed the crew no longer want to sit next to me and have started whispering behind my back. I’ve consulted my husband Terry about this but he’s assured me this has nothing to do with the smell - which I’m taking as a positive.

My problem started a couple of days back whilst lying in bed when I became paranoid that I smelled of cat wee. This was alarming for two reasons - one, we don’t have a cat on board; and two, if we did, why would it be weeing on me? I consulted Terry about this but he pointed out the wee smell wasn’t necessarily from a cat- which at the time I also took as a positive: other kinds of wee for some reason seeming preferable.

Anyway, my nostrils continued to torture me until the point I decided to investigate whether the offending odour was actually me or was coming from the anchor locker where our double-bagged rubbish is being stored. Off Terry and I went on a smell-hunting expedition to discover that (not too surprisingly) rubbish doesn’t smell like fresh flowers after two weeks at sea. Terry volunteered me to climb into the locker to triple bag our waste. On the upside I can confirm my gag reflex is still working perfectly - which I took as a positive.

We noted how odd it was that despite my work the smell was getting worse. Only then did I notice the soft, damp, mushy feeling under my foot. I looked down to discover that the biggest flying fish we’ve ever seen was squished between my toes, its eye resting on my big toe like a cherry on a cupcake, its innards forming the creamy surround, its tail fin giving a little wave from under my heel. Imagine standing on your mother’s Christmas trifle in your bare feet and you’ll get the idea.

I have since scrubbed my foot, gone for a swim, and am wearing socks - but still I smell like a can of sardines that’s been open for a fortnight. One crew member has suggested amputation. I think he’s watched Master and Commander one time too many.

In other news, the wind continues to torture us, but the crew remain determined, mainly because they have no alternative. Today’s swim evolved into a very exciting seaweed-throwing battle - it’s the small things after 16 days at sea…

Everyone continues to exceed expectations in the galley, with meals ranging from fantastic mushroom risotto, Thai curries, shepherd’s pie, roast chicken and burger and wedges. Nobody wants to put their foot in it, so fish is off the menu for the moment.

We’re now making way at last at 6kts - so only another 39,574,983,475,928,374,592 days to go.

Jacqueline and the crew of Rhapsody

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