A day has now passed since we morphed, with Neptune's approval, from Pollywogs to Shellbacks and we are adapting to a new set of skills acquired since leaving the Doldrums.
After the calm and the incessant heat (which can only be described by Ray Winston's opening monologue in the film Sexy Beast) of the Doldrums were everyday was a both a mentally and physical draining experience, we now find ourselves on a continual port tack with the boat beating into the wind. This means the boat is at a constant angle and bashing up and down on every wave.
Getting dressed in the morning requires the balance and poise of a ballet dancer but is most often achieved with the grace of a felled elephant, leaving one exhausted and sweating before even making it out into the breeze on deck.
Crossing the galley below deck now requires the skills of an oversized gibbon to stretch from one guard rail to another and then launch oneself across. Various adaptations of Michael Jackson's moonwalk have also been employed as a means to get to the galley steps.
Drinking a cup of tea or water has become a game of chicken with the waves, with the liquid either backing away from you as you raise the cup or surging forward and running all down your chin and front.
From a race point of view we keep making good speed and are sailing the boat to its maximum current potential but it is frustrating to see all the previous good work we made to catch up slowly being eroded away on this tack.
Without the stay sail , which due to damage to in the inner fore stay we cannot fly, we are some what hamstrung and are losing about 0.5 - 1.0 knot per hour to the boats in front of us all of which have a full compliment of sails. All we can do is hope for a wind change and hoist the kite before the others and get some advantage , we leave that in the hands of the gods.
Simon Aram aboard Old Pulteney