Race 12 - Day 8
Crew Diary - Race 12 Day 9: New York to Derry-Londonderry
05 July

Sandra Squire
Sandra Squire
Team GREAT Britain
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Leg 8 – Race 12 – Day 9 – Sandra Squire

Greetings fellow crew, friends & supporters. All is well on good ship GREAT Britain.

The lunchtime watch changeover was uneventful; Julie & I persuaded everyone to eat the really delicious wraps we lovingly prepared for them...Yes, it's wraps again people! This time the first course was chicken in mayo with cranberries and almonds, followed by Nutella & almond wraps for dessert. We are nothing if not creative in the galley! My secret stash of Hotel Chocolat chocolates is now no longer a secret, as they came out of hiding at lunchtime. Suspicions on where the remaining stash is stored are rife, however my lips are sealed! There's nothing wrong with the occasional bribing of a watch leader or swopping bilge duties for chocolates!

I keep being asked whether this race is what I thought it would be and what I think I'm getting out of it. It's certainly a hard one to answer. None of us go into this not knowing what we're getting in to. The ocean itself is incredible, it's impossible not to be impressed and awed by it all. But do I wish it was a little more comfortable? Oh yes! I will never again take the ability to have a shower for granted. I'm living my son's idea of heaven – no baths and showers for weeks! As Mothers for today, we treated ourselves to a mini spa this morning – full wash and change into clean clothes. You can have no idea how satisfying it is to change your bra and pants when you've been wearing them for over a week!

Out here we can see what seems like a year's worth of weather in one day. A few days ago, the sun rose in the fog, later we had rain, hail and snow. Then it was extremely hot in the afternoon then foggy and cold in the evening, with lightning storms off in the distance.

However, for me, the biggest thing I will take away from this is the people and friends I've made. I've met some amazing people on this crazy Clipper Race journey, this merry band of crew mates, who spend the evenings having random conversations about life, the universe and everything. Who you can rely on to give advice when needed and remind you to keep safe, who see you at your absolute worst (and dirtiest) and are still there for a hug if needed.

Those friends are special indeed. Life is very much for living, stepping outside of your comfort zone brings immeasurable rewards and it reminds me that really, anything is possible.

So, let's introduce Jack Watch a little -

Jon – Watch Leader – Jon is a calming influence, who is aware of our capabilities and will still push them gently. Always quick with a smile and a laugh, Jon seems to like chocolates and appears to be open to a little bribery!

Phil – Assistant Watch Leader - Can be found either on the helm or by the cubby hole with the snacks in it! Often seen with at least one cup of tea attached to his lifejacket.

Nicola – Mum to everyone. Our Victualler (why is there no hot chocolate onboard?) who reminds everyone to stay safe. Has hips of steel which are very handy to hoick you up, when you're stuck in your bunk and can't pull it up high enough.

Ross – Often has great ideas for boat improvements and how we could have the boat reprogrammed so it sails itself. Needs to be watched while on the helm, in case he sets course for the Canaries instead, as it's likely to be warmer there.

David – David is happy to help out wherever needed, is quietly spoken and often talks of his home and family with much affection.

Max – Often seen on deck wearing shorts and t-shirt when everyone else is wearing full foulies and is shivering. Drinks flower tea and enjoys spending foggy evenings keeping a watch out for ghost ships.

Tessa – Medic – Our first port of call when we're injured or in pain. Always very chilled out and relaxed, Tessa is great to talk to, although takes a really unhealthy interest in our toilet habits and how much we're drinking.

I've just heard the magic “WHALES” call from on deck so I'm off to find my lifejacket.

Much love to my family, especially my boys Michael & Bob. I know it's hard when I'm away, but I'm very proud of you both.

Happy Birthday to my Mum on Friday, hope you have a great day.

Big shout out to Magdalen Academy which is following our progress. Keep sending those questions – they give us something to talk about on deck between midnight – 4am!

Remember – a day without a laugh is a wasted day. Don't be wasteful.