Race 13 - Day 4
Crew Diary - Derry-Londonderry to Liverpool
25 July

Michael Brien
Michael Brien
Team Garmin
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Leg 8, Race 13, Day 4 – Mike Brien

With less than 48 hours to go before we reach the safety of Liverpool (everything is relative!), and, apart from my mum who came to Seattle and New York, the opportunity to see the rest of my family and bestest friends for the first time in a year, I'm not going to become philosophical like my previous crew bloggers. I'm just going to come up with some interesting facts.

Did you know the downward pointing spar on the bowsprit of some large tall ships (designed to improve the tension angle of the bobstay) is called the 'dolphin striker'? I discovered this interesting fact whilst in Derry. I can just imagine how it got its name too... poor dolphin.

Did you also know that the most stressed I've ever been on this 12 month journey (I'm including level 4 training, prep week and delivery in this; in fact I left home on 22nd July 2017 so it's already been over 12 months) is when I nearly dropped the sodastream bottle over the side during Leg 5? For some reason the kitemares, frenzied foredeck activities, urgent navigation problems and 70 knot winds don't faze me. Not having sodastream for the next 5 months does.

I've also been relatively successful in not dropping other things overboard, and less successful in others. I've dropped three different baseball caps overboard (an item of clothing I've only ever worn on a boat), whereas otherwise I've only lost one knife, one Leatherman multi-tool and one sandal. The Leatherman lasted all the way from home until until Lough Foyle too three days ago too.

Speaking of sandals, since during all the hot & sunny legs I wore the same pair (at least when I had two, anyway) I've developed excellent tiger feet from the sun tan patterns. Neat.

Sun tan patterns are only temporary (unless I continue sailing in hot climates, in which case I really need to get another of the same design of sandal), but I also have some permament scars too, from knife-based clumsiness to rope-based burns. The mental scars of this trip will no doubt take a lot longer to heal!

Actually, that's not really true. I've learnt so much about sailing, had a lot of fun (and plenty of type 2 fun), enjoyed most of my crewmates company most of the time, and made some friends for life, especially Bill & Simone – and if GT does get to do his Vendee Globe I'll definitely come over to France to see him off and wish him the best of weathers!

I'm going to have treasured memories of this amazing voyage with a group of wonderful people (it says here).

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