27 Dresses

I live outside. Now that is a bit of an obvious statement, but when it comes down to it, it isn’t really.

It appears that I live on a boat, and I do, but for all intents and purposes (temperature wise) I live outside.

Lukim Yu has no heating or cooling, so what ever the outside temperature is, the inside temperature is about 1 (maybe 2) degrees cooler (or warmer) depending on day.

So what? I hear you say, you are in the tropics what possible difference could that make when the temperature is always around 22-24 C! And you make a fair point, so here is where it gets interesting.

Flash back to life in Adelaide, I got up, got dressed (paying little attention to the outdoor temperature), later that night I would get undressed and go to bed. No alteration in attire required unless I was going out to dinner or maybe for a run. Not so on a boat, let me run you through a typical day, 23rd of July (we are at sea doing a passage from New Caledonia to Vanuatu).

Wake up 0400 to relieve Jamie from his 0001 - 0400 shift, it’s a little cool 21C. Get dressed: leggings, tracksuit pants, wet weather pants, sports bra, warm jumper, wet weather jacket followed by safety harness, ugg boots and a beanie. Now 21C doesn't sound cool, but when you are sitting outside in the wind it really is

0600 Jamie’s awake: take off safety harness.

0700 Suns come out: take off beanie

0800 Getting warmer: take off ugg boots and wet weather gear

0830 Suns packing some punch: off comes tracksuit pants

0900 Warmer still: swap leggings and warm jumper for shorts and long sleeved thin shirt (sun protection)

1000 Gets cloudy: Put ugg boots back on

1100 Slight drizzle: Put wet weather jacket back on

1200 Suns out again: take off wet weather gear and ugg boots

1400 Warmer still: swap long sleeve shirt for tank top and sunscreen, put on large brimmed hat

1500 Cloudy again (might rain) wind’s picked up: leggings back on, leave on tank top but put on wet weather jacket and ugg boots 1600 Very cloudy, no more sun today, put tracksuit pants back on, take off wet weather jacket and put on warm jumper again

2000 Start of 2000-2400 night shift put wet weather pants and jacket back on, beanie, socks on under ugg boots as feet were a little chilly last night, harness o and I’m ready to go.

So, you see the pattern, just when you think you’ve got it sorted the weather changes just enough that there needs to be a slight alteration in attire. And the wind plays a huge factor in these changes, if you can sit in an area protected from the wind then that adds a degree or two of warmth, sit in the wind directly and even a warm day can be chilly.

Most days I’d go through at least 4 iterations of outfits, varying the top and bottom combinations to match the weather. Anyone entering the room that has my wardrobe in it would think they have walked into a teenagers bedroom! I constantly have a range of clothes out ready to cycle through for the day and as most items only get worn for a few hours at a time they often stay “in play” for up to a week before they join the washing pile. So, not quite 27 dresses, but some days I think I get pretty close….

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