The sight that greeted Shark watch when we came on deck at lunchtime was like nothing any of us had seen before. Brilliant blue sky, the light with a hard, cold clarity to it, and a deep icy blue ocean, mesmirising in its movement, with breaking waves, white spray and spume being blown across the surface.
As Dave the Nav said, we all thought the Southern Ocean would be pretty majestic - we didn't think we'd get these sort of conditions in the North Atlantic, not far off the coast of Portugal!
With a poled-out Yankee two and our main down to reef two, the ride may be exciting, but the boat feels stable and mostly flat. The wind is at least Force 8 and we regularly reach over 20 knots boat speed - the record for our watch is 22.8, beating the Jets by a couple of knots.
When we get properly surfing it feels as though the boat is hardly touching the water.
As we climb up the waves the view reduces to just a few metres in front of the bow, and then we reach the top and the seascape opens out. It's the best rollercoaster in the world and it's what we all came out here to find.