Race 2 - Day 1
Crew Diary - Race 2, Day 1
15 September

John Dillon
John Dillon
Team Unicef
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Adios Portimão

What a beautiful place. Warm people, some of the best seafood you’ll find anywhere, great climate and a stunning beach. Definitely one to return to, although perhaps when the music festival isn’t on. It provided a welcome opportunity to recover, repair and recuperate for both the boats and crew. Whilst it would have been lovely to stay longer most of us, particularly Skipper Ian, were itching to get back on the boat and start sailing/ working/ suffering again! This stuff is quite addictive and should carry some sort of health warning.

There were some memorable moments in port. An unnamed member of the crew falling out of his bunk whilst on dry land without sustaining an injury, although he lost his pants. There’s more to the story but I’m sworn to secrecy. Realising that one of our team suffers from narcolepsy which kicks in after five beers. I’m sure Danny won’t mind being tagged. And one of our round the world crew seems to be loved up with someone from another boat, which must be against some sort of Clipper Race rule. It’s great getting to know these guys better and some of the characters are coming out; Sophie- dry sense of humour, Keith-loud, rugby loving Kiwi ( aren’t they all?), Danny-joker, Thom- raconteur, Lindsay- party boy, Sandra-calm, unflappable (!), Jayne- effervescent and Mario- ladies man. I’m not sure what they’d say of me.

We’re now about 90 minutes into a 30 day voyage. Unsurprisingly, everyone is feeling buoyant although conscious of the challenge ahead; crossing the equator, doldrums, squalls, storms, blistering heat, boredom and frayed tempers. We all smell good, we are well fed and rested and the boat’s clean. None of which will last. However, it’s what we signed up for, it will be tough but we’re determined to make up for the bad luck inflicted on us and avoid the own goals scored in Race 1, for ourselves and all the people following us at home. With respect to the other teams we’re the ones to beat.

Punta del Este is the next stop. It sounds at least as good as Portimão. There’s a long way to go and it’s important not to look too far ahead and stay in the moment. Still, one can dream of that ice cold beer!