How lucky are we with the weather, another beautiful warm cloudless sunny day here in Portimão, we trust you are also bathing in sunshine.
We have a few sore heads here on board after the Prizegiving event last night, and although we did not get on the podium this time, the friendship and bonding amongst all the Clipper Race family is still strong, it is not the winning but the taking part and learning.
We started the day with a crew briefing from the Skipper about the jobs on the to do list and sail repair is the most pressing, we have had a few tears and about a dozen holes to patch up, James is our chief repairman and he is busy teaching all of us that are interested in how to carry out this role; as without sails we cannot sail. So four people were dispatched with James to lay sails out on the marina floor. It was tough going patching and stitching in the heat of the sun all day but it was done. One sail needs to be taken away and be professionally repaired. he marina floor was shared with many other crew.
The other main task was re-stocking the food and Jonny and Jo spent all day in the supermarket buying food to match the menu plan to feed 22 people, three times a day for at least four weeks until we get to south America. The sheer volume of food is mind-blowing and we are all grateful to them for this vital role. Once on board, the food is divided up and put into day bags. These are waterproof bags where all the food for each day is kept, so at the start of each day, the Mother Watch pulls out one bag and it contains all the ingredients for that day, so no hunting in cupboards.
The foredeck also needed clearing as the riggers are coming on board first thing on Thursday to replace a forestay and the pulpit- these guys work hard when we are in port and deserve some thanks.
We had a crew meeting in the afternoon to discuss things amongst ourselves and how we can help each other further to achieve our aims. Mine is to enjoy myself and learn all I can about ocean racing, helming, sail trimming, winching, race sail hoisting, navigation, engineering and general maintenance, it is the taking part.
We had two functions this evening, an official reception was being hosted by the Mayor of the town and a second was the wine tasting session of local wines, no doubt a few sore heads tomorrow morning.
We still have many jobs to complete such as life jacket testing. These are inflated and checked then re-packed before every leg by the person wearing them and they are lifesavers. New ropes are arriving by van on Friday. They are being driven down from Gosport to be fitted on Friday which was supposed to be our day off, never mind, we need them before we can cast off.
Personally, I am ready to go back to sea now, I have had enough of being on land. Since leaving Gosport I have been lucky enough to have not read or seen any newspaper or TV, so I have no idea about what is going on in the UK. My world at present is 70 ft long, has 22 people on board, has three sails and a community that is doing all it can to look after each other, sounds good.
As night draws in the moon is rising brightly in the sky, I am so lucky.