Diary of a Clipper Racer

Around the world in 333 days with Mark Osgood

Supporting my chosen charity - "Dreams Come True"

Final Diary entry, 54, added Monday 6th October 2003.

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18 - Toilet Humour

Clipper groupies will already have seen the following, which was a contribution to London Clipper's diary from me and Cress Whyatt.

Heads it is!

You call them the lav, the toilet, the loo, the dunny - call them what you ike, but on board they're called 'The Heads'.

We have two on board:  a very small room called the "standy-uppy" - ideal for boys; or a larger room called the "sitty-downy", ideal for the girls and (not to put too fine a point on it) those needing to sit down.

Welcome to a step by step guide on how to use them:-


1.  It is very helpful to be athletic.  Don't worry if you're not - you soon will be.

2.  Always be on guard - take on the brace position regardless of whether the seas are flat calm - it's very easy to be caught out.

3.  The level of difficulty for usage comes in two categories:-

a. which tack the boat is on - for the sitty-downy, located midships starboard side , a port tack is more favourable.  The standy-uppy, located on the port side, is hell whichever tack, especially for the girls.

b. weather conditions - flat calm a sure winner; surfing waves, not too difficult; force 8 heading into wind, be prepared to brace, aim and fire - then pump away quickly.

4.  On entering the heads be sure to zip the door quite shut (always embarrassing to be caught in the act or, even worse, seen departing the heads before you've finished). 

5.  Only human waste and toilet paper can be put down the pan - beware those that do not heed.

6.  Boys - you have no time for reading comics, papers or whatever else it is you normally do; and girls - certainly no time for adjusting the lippy.

7.  We have no luxuries like a handle to flush away the incriminating evidence; instead we have a pump that works the biceps to a frenzy.

          After usage there is a GOLDEN RULE:

40 pumps if you dump,

If you pee, just 20,

If unsure, pump some more

Never underestimate the intolerant nature of your fellow crew:  whatever time of night or day, there will always be shouts of "Pump some more"!

8.  Always leave the heads how you would like to find them, clean and shiny, use the pan brush to clean away those tell tale signs.

9.  Finally, wash your hands before you sneak guiltily away and pray that the next person who used them doesn't shout "THE HEADS ARE BLOCKED!"

For London, whilst on this race, the latter has sadly happened not once, not twice but three times.  Please read on ......

Toilet Humour

There has been a good deal of toilet humour onboard the good ship London this week.  Unfortunately for the Doc and Ossie, the joke has been on them.  The heads have been blocked three times in a week and the "dirty duo" have been called for on each occasion. 

The problem heads is the main one, the "sitty-downy" - it has refused to pump away its deposits on each of the three occasions.  So in come the dirty duo, together with their increasing supply of heads repair tools - to include a bucket, a pump, several screwdrivers and a clothes peg (for their delicate noses).

The Doc, a GP by trade, always seems to be as happy as a pig in...well you know...when up to his eyeballs.  Ossie, a lawyer by trade, is used to it.

Methods used to unblock the offending pipes have included:-

1.  poke with screwdriver;

2.  manipulate pipe;

3.  take pipe up onto deck and smack it against the deck repeatedly until the offending blockage is released, all over the deck and any crew nearby. 

Method three has been found to be the most productive. 

A strict training regime is now being enforced to ensure all crew are employing the correct pumping action during their private moments.  


Click here for diary entry 19 - Race 5 - Update on the Pacific

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