Good morning everyone,
This morning as I write this message we are 77nm away from Portimão, with Angie steering by the stars. The water is glowing really hard from the bioluminescence and shooting stars are plentiful. The wake of our boat resembles a rocket ship.
My hands and forearms were pretty sore yesterday from 'the Ocean Sprint'. It is the same soreness you get if you row regularly, or dig the garden for days. With 20 crew stood behind the helm stations, and no reefs in the main, we were screaming along.
Not to be out done by any of the other teams, but we hit *cough* 33 knots when we dropped-in down the face of a large wave. We accelerated so quickly that we took off through the back of the wave in front and the bow went a long way down. Thankfully it stayed up nicely with the weight aft. The crew were all crowded on the back of the boat and hugging each other tightly. This was a great crew bonding experience and it also kept traction on the rudders so that we did not lose control. What a ride!!! I am excited to see the footage and also to see the results of the ocean sprint. Fingers crossed. Either way I am satisfied that we pushed as hard as we could. Sailing today is beautiful but seems quite mundane in comparison.
Yesterday was another fast downwind sail. At sunrise, we hoisted the Code 2 Spinnaker and blasted off towards Portugal. In other news, Sandra has taken it upon herself to spray everyone's shoes with diluted tea tree oil. The boat definitely has a certain aroma about it now. Meanwhile, Jayne has been focusing her attention on the position reports. Jayne explains to our crew where each yacht is from the 'sched' that we receive every 6hrs. The anticipation is torturous. But once received and plotted, Jayne lights up with excitement and dances around the boat sharing the news. In fact, there has been a lot of dancing and singing and general merriment over the last few days. I am really enjoying the camaraderie and atmosphere that we have built together.
We are hoping for a podium finish if things continue to go well for us. The wind is forecast to be very light and fickle as we get close to the finish. The pack are closing on us all the time.
Thank you all for your support and encouragement.
Here we go.
Ian and Mike