Race 2 - Day 7
Crew Diary - Race 2 Day 7: Punta del Este to Cape Town
11 October

Philip Blakey
Philip Blakey
Team GREAT Britain
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So far my South America to South Africa cruise has been going very nicely, thank you.

Yesterday evening I took a stroll around the deck before settling on the stern to watch the sun set over a peaceful ocean. Then down below to change for dinner, which was at the Captain's table (he is a little informal and likes to be called the Skipper, but it is still an honour). After dinner I moved through to the Lounge Bar and settled back with a beautiful fruit cocktail to listen to the singer and the band playing. I focus in on the lyrics, interesting if repetitive... "Philip get up its 7.15, Philip get up its 7.15..."

Gradually, my eyes open and the beautiful singer morphs into the bearded face of a crewmate and the music transposes into the drumming of the generator that has been next to my ears since I went to bed three hours ago at 4.15am, with accompaniment from water gushing past the boat and some wind howl. Ah, the real world.

First challenge of the day is putting on my merino T-shirt base layer top. This is a specialist ocean sailing 'label less' style in light blue, where the designer has thoughtfully put all the markings in dark blue. Do you see a theme there? All very stylish I'm sure, but totally indistinguishable under the red light the boat runs under at night. I've worn this garment in every combination of inside out and front to back. Today when I get into daylight it's the right way round and right way out which means it's a good day.

Which is just as well because I'm on Mother Watch. Friends and family in the UK who know me well will find it a great challenge to believe that I can feed 17 hungry people in a violently moving galley kitchen, even with the help of a crew mate. Especially when we are 1,500 miles from Uruguay and even more from Cape Town at the moment, so popping out for a cunningly disguised bulk order of £10 meals for 2 from Waitrose is not an option. However, we do okay. A nice pate from the Ardennes as starter, then lobster main, followed by New York cheese cake. Sorry, I dozed off again there.

Got to go, the weather is picking up and I've 17 cheese sandwiches and cup-a-soups to prepare. All the best from PB on good ship GREAT Britain.