Hello Team

How are we doing on this “Slow Down” Tuesday, still on schedule or just dropping off the pace a bit? This end we are moving, albeit significantly slower than this time yesterday, but we are moving. That fact we are south of Virtual Mark (VM) Massey and on the west coast making way,, the boat is flat, hatches are open, the Code 3 is unwrapped from the inner forestay and back in its bag, without any serious damage and my shorts are dry are all little facts that make up a fairly positive day.

After a pretty full on 12 hours yesterday morning, mainly dealing with the Spinnaker wrap, a bit of a power nap, and a bit of lunch. Not sure what it was, a meal mainly using up odd tins and noodles, but it was certainly very tasty. I was back on watch with SeaHawks watch for the afternoon shift. We had the Yankee 1 up, as the Code 3 Spinnaker was unavailable and with the wind on a beam reach, with a full Main and a following sea, it was definitely play time. There was a lot of water coming over the deck. Marcus was surfing down the waves hitting 23kts and laying the mark. We had lots of laughter and smiling faces as the DTA (Distance to Arrival) mile round down at a rapid rate of knots and a feeling that this was what Clipper Race sailing was about. Then Alex got up on the helm for her turn to get a speed record.

Now what happened next will have two takes. I had been fairly detriment that I would see this race out by wearing shorts all the way around the course with a lightweight waterproof jacket on occasions, such as this as well. After all, this is my second edition of the race as a Skipper, I have already done the North Pacific twice. What sort of weather conditions in a short race around some Japanese Islands cause me to face the extreme conditions that I would need to wear full foulies

I hadn’t taken into consideration Alex was on a mission to achieve a personal best speed record. So I sat in the cockpit chatting to Melanie, while Alex with steel eyed determination on the helm, hit speeds of 19-20kts. Then it happened, to try and break into the 20+ kts Alex brought the boat a little more to wind. It must have been like being shot. I didn’t hear the wave coming, that would have given me a fighting chance. No the first thing I knew was I thought I had fallen into a swimming pool. I completely disappeared underwater, as the wave broke over the cockpit, just where I was sitting. As I surfaced, completely soaked, the steely eyed look on Alex’s face had disappeared completely. Suddenly all the crew in the cockpit looked like they were in a Colgate advert. Smiling and laughing. There I was thinking that ’E’ in T.E.A.M stood for empathy, when it clearly stands for ‘Entertaining’. So now I am wearing my salopettes as my shorts are completely soaking and why would you want to bring two pairs of shorts on a 10 day’ish race!

We are showing as currently having 220nm to the finish line, we are hoping that doesn't mean another 3 days of bobbing around on the west coast. The weather forecast is showing that there should be wind and if that delivers it may mean we will get in late tomorrow, which would be great. However, we have travelled this stretch of water twice before. Anyone going forward into Leg 6 has been banned from complaining, that it's too hot or a little warm below decks.

How do you put a baby astronaut to sleep? Rocket

That's all for now,

Dave & Number 1