Today at 1200 (UTC+12) we carried out the burial at sea of Sarah Young. Sarah was a close friend and an enthusiastic and accomplished sailor. Sarah and I would chat for hours in the navigation station about this and that. Every now and again she would come and sit next to me, give me a hug, and go again. No need to say anything, probably we both needed it.
Sarah was a valued crew member and amazing victualler. On deck she was fearless and could often be found at the bow wrestling with headsails, or up the mast wrestling wrapped spinnakers, even below decks wrestling crew to protect the biscuit ration. She was a great wrestler, never lost a biscuit.
The crew stood on deck with all the courage and dignity we could muster, read a few of Sarah's favourite prayers and poetry, before holding a minute’s silence. The ceremony was ended with a beautiful traditional Zulu song sung by our Sapinda Rainbow Ambassador, Charlotte.
Today has been one of the hardest days of my life. Never under-estimate the value of friendship and of team spirit. The support via email has been over-whelming and absolutely invaluable. Life is finite and often far too short.
Sarah was an adventurer and lived life to the full. She died an adventurer's death battling the elements circumnavigating the globe. I wish we could have said goodbye properly, we all do. The ceremony was for Sarah on behalf of all those that were fortunate enough to know her. Today we said goodbye, but she will always be present in our hearts.
Sarah will be sadly missed.
It's a bit of a mixed one weather-wise, but there is definitely a cold theme running through the day. It snowed earlier, there's a novelty at sea. I thought I was on to a winner when I fitted the good ship IchorCoal with central heating. Unfortunately we ran out of 50p coins a week ago.
We are pushing the fleet along making reasonable speed. The watches are cycling every 30 minutes, it's long enough to be outside. As a crew the focus is Seattle. With the wind strength more unpredictable than Jeremy Clarkson we got the old favourite Yankee 4, staysail and deep-reefed main up. Not too much enthusiasm for sail changes at the moment.