So here we are two days from crossing the Atlantic and arriving in Rio. Nearly 5,000 miles and a month at sea. 21 people on a 70 foot yacht.
Yesterday during happy hour we were asked by our skipper what the highs and lows of the trip were.
For me the journey started back in August for boat preparation week and continued with the delivery to London. The further week of boat prep there and then the race itself. During that time there were definite lows for me ranging from leaving my girlfriend and family behind me in London through to coming down with the flu in the tropics, losing places to our competitors, fighting boredom and dehydration in the Doldrums and wooling spinnakers in the sail locker in 40 degree heat and 100 per cent humidity. Not forgetting to mention random cock ups during evolutions, running out of pancake mix, and if I ever see Dungeness nuclear power station again it will be far too soon! And I definitely won't be mentioning Anchoring...
For me though the definite low will be watching my crew sail out from Rio without me on their way to Cape Town.
The highs by far outweigh the lows though.
The amazing people on board, the happy hours, suicidal flying fish, whales and dolphins! The elusive green flash, amazing sun rises and sun sets. The stars clearer then I have ever seen them. The simple enjoyment when an evolution goes perfectly and the boat goes a knot faster. Surfing down a five metre wave at 20 knots with a poled out Yankee. Leaving London and sailing under Tower Bridge, something I didn't think I would ever get the opportunity to do! The random games we played during quiet watches, and even a game of hide and seek during happy hour once! Gaining places and doing better then the other watch are all highs. And I know that the first beer in Rio will be epic!
However I feel that the biggest high is still to come when I watch big blue sail off to Cape Town without me knowing that in a couple of weeks I will be back and on board her and setting sail once more! As although I am not a round the worlder my adventure will not be ending in Rio, I will be in Cape Town for Leg 3 and then again in Qingdao for Leg 6. And I am already looking forward to it!
Mark "Jager" Churchill