Race 12 - Day 12
Crew Diary - Race 12, Day 13: New York to Derry-Londonderry
09 July

Neil Harvey
Neil Harvey
Team Dare To Lead
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CV25 heads across the North Atlantic to Londonderry – or, Team 'Doire to Lead'

Team Dare To Lead is now well on the way to Derry and the crew has recently been pondering the impact on this 2932 nM transatlantic race of the local weather systems we are encountering on board. We left New York in bright sunshine and initially the de rigueur kit for wear on deck was T-shirt and shorts. However, as we moved closer to the Grand Banks, the fog began to roll in and the temperature began to sink rapidly. Our red Clipper Race foulies very quickly came out of hibernation ...and there has even been talk of dry suits amongst the colder-blooded crew members!

Incidentally ...speaking of 'sinking rapidly', it is perhaps significant to note that we passed only a mere 70 nM north of the final resting place of the SS Titanic. During various discussions on deck, some people were relieved to hear that the fatal iceberg was actually struck at the end of the Atlantic winter, in the month of April, and hence in July we would be quite safe ...however, an 'iceberg watch' from the bowsprit still seemed like a pretty good precaution (clearly Dare To Lead is getting fed up with looking out for boring old whales and dolphins – Ed.). In the event, we did not even spot enough ice to make a gin and tonic. We did, however, share a few choice lines of dialogue from Jack and Rose (e.g. it would indeed be a waste of the proximity of the wreck of the Titanic NOT to stand at the bow of Dare To Lead and shout 'Jack, Jack ...I'm flying!!' - Ed.).

Currently, however, we are back in the weather systems that team Dare To Lead enjoys the most – i.e. 25+ knots of wind and a comfortable 45 deg of heel down below in the accommodation. The main crew complaints seem, once again, to involve the low air temperatures, the high windchill factors and the coldness of the rain. Any job to be done below decks suddenly has its attraction, even 'popper-ing' a spinnaker or cleaning the heads. However, catering on board by the Mother Watch continues to be of Dare To Lead's usual high standard, with recent offerings including real sausages in real bread buns, beef steaks and cherry meringue pie!

As we begin to contemplate the end of this particular race and our approach into Derry, our thoughts turn to the question of whether we might JUST possibly avoid our usual bete noire of sail damage in the remaining days to arrival. Indeed, (as Dare To Lead's Sail Repairer) my own thoughts certainly DO turn to that very question ...but they turn also to the very certain possibility of sampling a pint of the local Guinness on arrival in Derry.

Or maybe TWO pints of Guinness? Just, as they say in Ireland: 'To be sure, to be sure'.

Contributed by Neil Harvey RTW

Until Race Start : The Atlantic Trade Winds Leg Map + Race Standings