The following is an except of a memoir written by Charles Howard Duffy while sailing on the “LADY JO” in the Honolulu Classic, a yacht race between San Pedro and Honolulu, Jan 10,1939.

Charles H Duffy catching up on sleep aboard the "Lady Jo"
Charles H Duffy catching up on sleep aboard the “Lady Jo”

7:30 AM

It seems that the above mentioned arrangement was not satisfactory with the skipper or the navigator, since someone was going to have to be at the wheel all night, so it was decided at the moment of pitchest dark to reset the arrangement of balloon jib and main, use so successfully before for sailing a course varying from NW to SE. This arrangement allows the crew to get a minimum of nine hours of sleep at night, not including, or course, any time which can be made up during the day, which is very important to deep sea sailors. Even at its best, sleep in’t too restful on account of the motion of the boat. For instance, when the boat is travelling on the wind across the choppy sea, the sensation that the sleeper receives is akin to a cross between the motion of a scared jackrabbit crossing a series of fences and the motion of being tossed in a blanket. On the other hand, if the boat is travelling off wind or directly before it, the impression imparted to the sleeper is similar to one a person trying to sleep on a rolling log might receive, with the ever imminent danger of being pitched out of his bunk onto the floor. In order to prevent this, nights of experience have taught me the proper method of maintaining ones dignity in bed. By placing a series of pillows under the sides of the bunk mattress it is possible to mold the bunk into the shape of a bath tub. This prevents the occupant from being pitched onto the floor. After that is is necessary to place further pillows at judicious points along the torso under the blankets to prevent the body from rolling from side to side, not forgetting one on each side of the stomach to keep it from roaming all over the anatomy. However, even with all these precautions, sufficient sleep is difficult to get.

2:00 PM

This is wash day aboard the “LADY JO” and also the fourth wedding anniversary of the skipper and first mate. Rose washed clothes in a bucket with a miniature washboard.

Wash day aboard the "LADY JO"
Wash day aboard the “LADY JO”

The boat looks like a Chinese laundry with the lines full. She also decreed baths for everyone. Sam and I procrastinated so long Ed finally dumped a full bucket of water all over Sam with all his clothes on. We both went over the stern almost immediately. In honor of the wedding anniversary, we are having a chicken dinner tonight. We eat so much we have to extra fast to keep breakfast, lunch and dinner from overlapping. This is the nicest day we have had yet. The sun is shining part of the time. The breeze is light and shifting more to the east. We have been running all day with the squaresail and main up. We are 820 miles from San Pedro as the seagull flies.

January 11, 1939

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