Hello Team,

How are you doing, glad to be back at it, following a short but very enjoyable New York stopover? Well it’s Fizz Friday and we hope you are going to be participating? Last Friday, we didn’t get any fizz, but we did get a celebratory beer and I was given a gin and tonic, which I think had the tonic missing, but it certainly helped me sleep on my first night ashore.

We had a small crew change over in New York, with Mel B leaving and Marc Little rejoining Seattle, after last being on the boat in November 2019 doing Leg 2.

New York was a short but enjoyable stopover, which gave the boat its first complete Sunday ashore since March in Subic Bay. Most of the crew made the most of that day to get some sightseeing in, although for most it was a slow start, as Prizegiving was on Saturday, which included a free bar, so say no more about that event. Some sightseeing included helicopter flights over the city, which #1 enjoyed. Kiki and myself enjoyed a cycle around Central Park. Other crew managed to pick up some last minute tickets for a Broadway show.

The crew spent a good bit of their time preparing the boat for its final ocean crossing, as we head homeward bound, with the next stop a Clipper Race favourite; Derry~Londonderry. Also being razor sharp you will have noticed we have played our Joker this race, giving us the opportunity to double our points at the Finish Line, so there is a lot to play for in this race. It’s interesting to see the fleet has split into two very different tactical options, and time will tell which is the right one.

Race 14 started with a well organised Le Mans Start, thank you Dan from WTC Logistics. It was a beautiful sunny morning with a force 4 breeze. The moment we reached the ten minute time-frame, which allowed us to change sail plan and course, #1 bore away. We simultaneously shook out the reef, dropped the Staysail, fixed the foreguys and rolled straight into a kite hoist. Lots going on, it wasn’t faultless, but showed promise. The start has certainly helped settle some pre-match nerves on board – mine included.

Since then, the crew have executed a slick gybe and a very efficient peel from the Code 2 to the Code 1 (the lightweight spinnaker). Yes, as you will have seen, we are in very light winds again, but hoping that they won’t last too long, based on Simon “The Fronts Man” Rowell's forecast.

We have already seen quite a selection of wildlife, various species of dolphins and lots of, as yet unidentified, sea birds.

Today we celebrated Dawn’s birthday, and she received a happy birthday call via the VHF, from hubby Paul on WTC Logistics, who had also arranged a birthday present to be delivered via #1. Good bloke skills there, Paul. Tomorrow is Lizzy's wedding anniversary. Now, I don’t know if you have picked up on the fact that there are lots of crew having wedding anniversaries while they are away at sea, miles from their partners? Not sure what that says really. Still, Happy Anniversary for tomorrow Lizzy and Matt.

So today is National Meteor Watch Day. We will definitely be keeping a lookout, we have seen some amazing shooting stars on this trip.

Standing by this channel,

David & #1