Race 3 - Day 4
Crew Diary - Race 3 Day 4
27 October

Hamish Mitchell
Hamish Mitchell
Team Perseverance
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Captain’s Log – Start date October 2023

Last year, if someone told me, that today, I would be 555 miles East of Uruguay, helming a 70ft Clipper Race yacht, in a race across the South Atlantic toward South Africa, with 25kt crosswinds, accompanied by whale-song, albatrosses, luminescent dolphins, and 18 amazingly talented fellow crew-members, including a real pirate (AKA AQP Joss Creswell) – I would have been mildly sceptical. But it’s true, and 5 days into this incredible adventure, it just gets better and better.

Seven ‘leggers’ joined Team Perseverance in Punta del Este, and it’s fair to say we were all filled with nervous anticipation and excitement about what REALLY lay ahead. This is a different and life-affirming voyage for us all, but never forget we are in a race against another 10 boats. In the comfort of your dry, stable, warm home you get hourly updates, we get four a day. Currently, we are in the lead, heading for the scoring gate, and being pushed hard by Dare to Lead, but there are still 3000 miles to go to Cape Town …and a lot can happen in the next two weeks.

Since we cast off on Sunday we have negotiated wind-holes, squalls, reefed in and out, winched, hanked on, raised, lowered, and constantly adjusted mains, Yankees, staysails, wind-chasers, sheets, and halyards – whilst learning to hot-bunk, cook and live at a 40-degree angle, inside a bouncing washing machine - and still get along as a close-knit team of different yet like-minded individuals.

Outstanding highlights so far?

Being chased at night by dolphins, glowing a ghostly green with bioluminescence. The amazing hospitality and send-off from Punta del Este. Calm seas, and night-time fog to the eerie sound of whale-song and blow-holing. Racing on a beam-reach in deep blue, white-frothed seas – and an inky dark sky with Orion clearly visible to the North, but upside down! Think of us on Perseverance, looking in wonder, at those very same stars when you next see them. After a hot and sweaty cooking shift …. taking a saltwater bucket-shower on the stern, with one of the sponsored RTW rubber ducks (raised UKP3500 so far) … brand-new!

What do we need? Well, maybe someone could email Clipper Race HQ with a clear picture of the species of albatross and petrels to help us identify exactly what we are encountering. Please?

Finally, a big shout out to all those who are following the rubber duckies, especially to those who have been learning to sail, those who are aged 10, and those called Harvey x