Race 1 - Day 7
Crew Diary - London, UK to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The past 24 hours have been very enjoyable: warm weather, steady winds, and a smooth sea making for idyllic sailing conditions, even though the boat speed has unfortunately dropped a bit along with the winds. Overnight there were some difficult helming moments, with dark clouds obscuring the horizon and hiding the stars. At other moments, the night sailing was quite magical, with stars bright and distinct above, balmy breezes, and the sound of water rushing against the hull.
During the day, both watches were active. We completed a number of sail changes to react to shifting wind conditions; a small sewing party coordinated by skipper Greg and main sail sewer, James, undertook some minor repairs to lines and sails; our climber extraordinaire, Roger, went out along the mast to add a patch to the sail; and for me, a high point (excuse the pun) was being hoisted to the top of the mast to retreive a halyard. We have settled into an easy rythym: always something to do, but it rarely feels rushed or hectic. This slow and steady approach is beginning to pay off in our ranking, as we finally moved up to 4th place, to everyone's delight.
With regard to life aboard, as the temperature continues to rise, we are finally leaving our 'foulies' on their hangers, and venturing out in shorts and t-shirts.
Down below, heavy sleeping bags are being swapped for lighter sleeping bag liners. Most of the crew are now having showers which are saltwater only (except for those on 'Mother Watch'), and take the form of a bucket of water in the heads, or the camping shower rigged at the back of the deck.
For our non-British crew, mealtimes continue to be a source of puzzlement. At dinner this evening, Swedish Jens turned to Portuguese Alex, asking, 'What is that?'; Alex shrugged, 'They call it Angel Delight.'. They both peered doubtfully at the caramel coloured mix in tthe bowl. New experiences come in many forms.