The close and exciting racing has continued around the clock. At the same time, our North Pacific preparations have continued. In readiness for the boat to be rolled on her side we even bolted in the floorboards whilst we were sailing in 6 knots of wind yesterday. But now Unicef is powered, the crew are holding on, and the loads have increased exponentially as we charge for the finish.
Today that elusive 0.1 knot of boat speed is all that we are focused on. If we can find the 0.1 knot performance gain that we crave so badly, then when we cross the finish line in 150 miles time, that would equate to a 1.5 nautical mile advantage. If the intensity of last night is anything to go by, then 1.5nm would easily be the difference between securing an elusive podium position, or not. Perhaps we could all hold hands and cross the line together in a show of solidarity?? I joke. You're right. Now is probably not the right time to joke, as on the horizon looms the outline of a spinnaker. That Spinnaker belongs to Qingdao. I can almost hear the conversations on Punta del Este and Visit Sanya, China as Qingdao bears down on us. Shall we hoist the Spinnaker or not?? How fast are they going? How fast are we going? What is the forecast predicting? Will we lose miles during the hoist? What if we have an issue? It looks like it is right on the limit!! Are we being too conservative? Do we want more heel force or more driving force? Shall we have another cup of tea first and think about it? " Phew.
We are happy is our little blue bubble of isolation today. But we all make mistakes and we all have regrets. The big question today: Will there be any toilet paper left in the Philippines!?!! The prospect of a North Pacific crossing with no toilet paper. Now that would be very regrettable. Can you imagine. Forget Clipper Race points. We are racing the other boats to the supermarket!! In other news, now that the wind has swung to the NE, we are no longer aiming towards Minzhu reef. From what I have heard, reefs, and disputes in the South China Sea, are not something you want to be involved in.
Here we go.
Ian and Mike