Well let the nail biting commence! We find ourselves in first with the only boat in trackable range being Unicef (ello Ian, Mike and crew). They're currently 13.26nm away so we are how we like it - with no other boats in sight. Currently we are averaging 10 knots and aiming straight at the mark so all is happy for at least the next 190 miles. And then, surprise-surprise we are being met with the potential of a wind hole!
I don't normally type much about individual crew but today please indulge me. We have a crew member who goes by the name of Hug-Hez, AKA Miss Wrinkle, AKA Jade Hughes. So far she has completed Leg 5 with us. Her previous experience of sailing was when she was a teenager on tall ships where she caught the 'bug' (dont worry not the current one).
There are 3 things Jade and I have in common:
1. We are both honorary Cork heads (Isle of Wight)
2. We both support Liverpool (but she is a proper supporter with a Scouse accent which took Hugo some weeks to fully understand) 3. We both got sponsored to go/start sailing.
Jade unlike most Clipper Race crew received sponsorship for Leg 6 by her employer. She works for a international satcoms firm, so thank you to her employer for supporting her and giving her the time off to join our little boat on this big race.
She will tell you herself it took her a couple of weeks to settle in and get to grips with life on board. But since then she has gone from strength-to-strength and I've had half a dozen or so crew come up to me over the last month and whisper in my ear 'Jade's improved so much!' 'Jade is really coming along etc etc..' So it really is a testament to herself how far she has come.
I hope she can see her progress and that's all across the board from foredeck, cockpit, wheels of life to helming. As the expression goes for this funny old race, you really get out what you put in. I suppose Jade's biggest challenge is taming the green monster, but that will come with time, so I'm not worried. I have a friend called Charles and he works on boats. When he started he was seasick often but after a few months he just got over it. Harpo has also tamed the green monster so to all the seasick sufferers out there - there is light at the end of the tunnel.
..........sorry there are 4 things we have in common: We hate mornings. Don't speak, look or even sit near us for the first 15 minutes after we have woken.
Jade, please keep up the good work and thank you for your efforts so far!
A quick note to Jane Brown - hope the leg op goes well and Madz hope you like the song of the day...
Song of the day - Bicep - Glue (play it with the dial cranked up to 11)
Also - Happy Birthday Megs, I'm still wearing your T-shirt with pride and regularly get comments about it. You need to set up a work email - I think it could become our unofficial team shirt!
P.S. Karla and Maria - we have remembered to put the stern camera on just before sunrise so you should have a nice time lapse.
Hope all are well back home Josh Hugo and the crew of Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam.
PS (Hugo here):
1. I still struggle to understand Jade, but now that Gerard is on board it makes any other accent tame. I've left France about 10 years ago, lived and worked in more than 15 different countries, and I think I just found the person I understand less. Not sure if the next 5 months that we have to sail together will be enough to break the mystery of this new language (that I'm pretty sure he invented himself)
2. Try to sit alone on a boat that has around 20 square meters of living surface... good luck for the non morning persons
3. Josh stop taking all the credit for the stern cam