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Race 2 - Day 9

Invest Africa - Simon Dixey

17 SEP 2013 - Race 2

Hello again from Simon. This is my first diary contribution from Race 2. We are currently on Day 9 and have just left the Canary Islands to the east.Firstly a few more introductions. From Lightning Watch, please say Hi to Joao, posessor of the sharpest eyes on the boat – he can probably see Rio already. He's from Brazil so is looking forward more than the rest of us to our arrival. In no particular order, here are the remaining members of Lightening Watch:

Anne, the team timekeeper and completer-finisher, without whom no log entries would ever get done on time (Her husband Nick has done this whole race before so she also has lots of useful tips);

Andy H. the quiet Brummie, who, when we can drag him off the foredeck has revealed a flair for assistant sail repairman;

Gwen, who trims with Gallic fervour but has a soft hand on the helm; and last but not least Didi who is up for anything and generally keeps a concerned eye on the rest of us.

I would also like to introduce, from Thunder Watch, Nomcebo, who is the Sapinda Rainbow Project crew member on this leg. We are co-authors of this diary entry, but with her permission I am writing, on her behalf, some of the things she talked to me about earlier.

“Where I live, it is a long way from the sea. I haven't seen any boats before and I did not know anything about ocean sailing or racing. One day somebody asked if we would like to apply for something new. I had an interview and said I would like to do new things and come back and talk to other people about my experiences. I didn’t know anything about the Clipper Race at that time.

“I have found it interesting finding out what happens on board a boat and taking part in it.  I have learned to do things like whipping ropes and steering the boat. I have had to get used to some food I have never had before! I am getting to like it – the chilli yesterday was nice. I also liked seeing the whales the other day!

“The worst bit so far was feeling ill. It was very rough when we left Brest and I felt very sick. I have had to get used to drinking lots of water. Now I am feeling a bit better. I really miss my family and friends. I am looking forward to getting to Rio – I have never been there. I expect I will stay a few days, but I want to get home soon. The race has been harder than the training because then we were in a group with friends. It feels like a long time since I spoke my language … but I want to tell everyone about my experiences. I know some other people will like to do this.

Thank you, Nomcebo. Talk about going outside your comfort zone!

Well, thats about all from me. I was going to describe the scene of Two Girls Having a Bath in a Bucket, but will perhaps leave that to others, or more likely, the reader's imagination. However, regular followers of these diaries may find some definitions of nautical terms of value, so, to finish off, here are a few:

Spinnaker – Derived from spin (to go round in circles) and knacker (induce a state of debilitating exhaustion). A large piece of sail cloth for wrapping the forestay. May also be used to make the boat go very fast in the wrong direction.

Pulpit – a wire cage at the front of the boat from which an unseen voice bellows wrathful, inaudible exhortations to an uncomprehending people. (see also: Skipper)

Helm – the nut behind the wheel.

Knot – measurement of boat speed, slightly more than 1 mile per hour. Sailing is probably the only sport where speeds of 20 mph produce whoops of excitement.

Safety Line – a long piece of orange strap with three ends, attached to the lifejacket. Designed to save your life if you fall overboard and to trip you up and break your neck if you don't.

I think that's enough education for one day. I'm off to get a few hours rest before next watch; see you in about 10 days -

Simon Dixey