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Race 2 – Day 17

Invest Africa - Graham McMillan

25 SEP 2013 - Race 2

Three months to Christmas! Though it doesn't feel like we'll be in Rio for that at the moment. Our progress is frustratingly slow with zephyrs of wind tempting us and sometimes reaching the lofty heights of 5 knots before falling back to one or two – which is not enough to get our beautiful 40 ton boat moving. The mainsail wafts and flaps down its full length with the motion of the swell creating a down-draft to the deck which at first makes you think there is some wind, but is really just mocking you. The wind seeker wraps itself in the shrouds and at night it's like the forestays have  gone to a toga party or have suddenly become all modest.

We had a seagull attempt to land on our mast last night (back when we had wind – sigh) and while it failed to find a perch for the night it did succeed in bending our wind arrow (windex) out of shape so when Ed was on the helm and his usually reliable helming was completely off as the arrow was no longer indicating the direction of the wind properly.

The rhythms of life on board continue while we wait for the wind. Food is cooked, the log is completed, the boat is cleaned, the watches change. Come on wind!

Graham McMillan

While we sit on the side of the boat hoping that some wind will appear the chatter turns to Rio. Will we ever get there? Will I be destined never to sail over the finishing line of a Clipper Race? (Leg 1 is the only leg I am doing.) This evening the wind has returned in some small dose. Is this another false dawn? We had some wind yesterday but that waned and left us overnight and, once again, the morning saw us sitting in a calm azure ocean. Frustrating. All we ask is for the wind gods to look down on us kindly and push us hastily towards Rio.

The highlight of the day was seeing whales pass within a few hundred metres of the boat this morning.

Anne Woodward