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Race 4 Day 15

Switzerland - Lindsey Noble

19 NOV 2013 - Race 4

Moonlight and chocolates

There are moments on this trip that are so stunning they will last forever in my memory and one such was last night.

The full moon rising majestically through fine shafts of cloud in an otherwise cloudless sky, providing a beautiful glow over the (for once) relatively calm clear Southern Ocean. The moonlight last night was so strong it gave a wonderful light to guide our passage. We were on the 18.00-10.00 and 02.00-06.00 watches during last night - we had both the moonrise and the sunrise in clear skies giving amazing colours, amazing images.

The sea is in its calm after the storm phase - we have had a pretty daunting storm but had survived all intact - with gentle yet still substantial rolling waves, with up to 20 knots of breeze, on a beam reach with clear skies the sailing over night was very special.

The moonrise moment was even more memorable as it followed an almost perfect Yankee 2 to Yankee 1 headsail change by our watch – skipper Vicky very pleased with us. And Heidi (our nickname for Switzerland) set off picking up speed and surfing the waves as though she had been doing all her life. A precious time with all crew seizing an opportunity to helm during the watch.

Another highlight - as we do think about food a lot or some of us the snack box the Ritter chocolate - Harry has organised a brilliant sponsorship the crew have a substantial supply of this fab chocolate - it was the choice of strawberry and/or dark with nuts last night.

It is Hannah's birthday today - we have had several choruses of Happy Birthday already including UTC Happy Birthday. Hannah (like Janicke) also has an identical twin at home celebrating at the same time. Happy Birthday to Hannah and Rebecca. As I write Hannah is asleep and cake making has started in the galley. It is Steen's birthday tomorrow and 3 more birthdays in the next few weeks. More cake for the crew very popular.

The crew is well and the team spirit aboard Heidi is strong. Everyone is so very supportive of each other - the 48 hours of storm has focussed the mind and we are all aware of the power of the sea and wind and the fragility of a small boat in a very big heaving ocean. 22 people in a boat being tossed around apparently so casually makes you think...

Big topic on watch a couple of days ago - how many items of clothing are you wearing? It has been very, very cold so we all have the maximum layers we can fit under our foulies. Each shoe, sock, knee pad etc. is a separate item - I could claim twenty four items, Chris twenty five and Roser twenty six. All have to be looked after carefully kept as dry as possible - stowed so they can be found in the dark - the order they are put on planned and we typically only have 30 minutes from wake up to watch start to eat and dress. Understanding then that we mostly stay and sleep in our base layers.

We are still working hard to make our followers proud. Our progress has been good and we are pushing for speed whilst maintaining safety and looking after our kit and equipment especially our sails - they have to take us round the world.

Everyone sends their love and good wishes to friends and family at home - we having the experience of lifetime and will have so much to tell you when we see you.

Lindsey Noble