Following clear instruction from the skipper I spent the first hour of the afternoon watch on the helm using the light and fickle breezes to practise sailing by the wind. Clipper Race training ensures that you are safe in all aspects of boat technique such as winching and sweating halyards, but, with Sean on Derry~Londonderry~Doire, I really feel as though I am learning to sail, and more significantly for this event, learning how to race.
The remainder of the watch was filled with maintenance tasks of all descriptions ranging from making safety strops for the vang, and mending personal kit ready for the anticipated big seas ahead. Thanks to Clodagh's hard work sourcing wetsuit glue and tyre inners in Cape Town, many of us now have patched up boots and wet weather gear. It may look a bit Heath Robinson to an outsider, but when you are on a boat miles from anywhere improvisation and ingenuity are a premium. So is contact from family and friends, and I can't say thank you enough to everyone, especially Lisa and my cousins Rachael and Lorna, and Aunty Ruth, for the cards and letters I received on the last stopover. I have included the rhyme from the card that George (5 years) and Arthur (3 years) composed for me to be said to the tune of the Owl and the Pussy Cat.
The Clipper Race and Aunty Jacky
Our Aunty Jacky went to sea in a beautiful Irish green boat,
Surrounded by Clippers, she's taken black knickers,
Wrapped up in a really warm coat,
When we look up to the stars above
And your're bobbing around afar,
O'Aunty Jacky, O'Aunty Jacky our love,
How proud of Aunty Jacky we are,
We are, we are,
How proud of Aunty Jacky we are.
LegenDerry II Crew Diaries