Well another week has passed and I’ve struggled to find time to blog. Yesterday was Mother Watch so I had my first proper wash and managed to wash my hair, which was bliss, and there’s a few hours before I’m back on watch – we’ve gone from freezing cold in foulies to shorts and tee’s.
We have two watches on board, Port & Starboard. I’m on Port with Vince, James, Kirsten, Brian, Fran and on Starboard you have Brooke, Gill, Richard, Mike, Johnny & Annette. Rob our skipper and JB (Johnny) our first mate switch it up between the two. We’re a little light of a full contingent so a lot less active sail trim than I’m used to, but we’re a boat that at least let’s everyone do everything.
Catering Corps Vince (VP) has promoted Brian to Brigadier Brains, although Catering seems to like wandering around in pants on a daily basis, we haven’t figured out if the snoring or pants is funnier!
Helming is something that I really wanted to get to grips with on the race as back home it’s not something you get to do much of unless you own a boat. After my little crash gybe the other night I was somewhat reticent to get back on the helm, but with the supportive pushing from Brains (who seems to know when to push me), I got back on the helm during the day… average of 16-22knots, building to 33. Back home that would be considered quite a breeze and we wouldn’t really go out, here it’s just a good breeze. It appears that I have a helming monologue – lots of muttering and cursing, Fran has competition!
Seem to of largely cracked the surfing too, depending on the waves and wind (with the surf here you get a lot of random sideways rogue waves) you can round up or down at the bottom of a wave. Figuring out how much of a helm twitch to make to keep you on course, is a skill… but when you get it right, it’s bloody marvellous… I will admit to much cackling and whooping whilst helming that day! Feeling more in control and knowing what to do, meant that Brian decided I needed to get back on. At night. With the code 3 up.
Accidental gybing terrifies me, especially when you have 13 other people on onboard, but with the quiet talking from Brian behind me, helping me to identify stars to helm by, I did it… felt much happier with things and much more confident. I won’t make a race skipper anytime soon, but getting more confident in knowing what to do and when, no matter how intense it is.
We’ve had all sorts of wildlife, finally! Orcas, boobies (brown-footed, blue-footed and another type that I can’t recall) and of course never enough dolphins. There was an amazing display from them last night, leaping in the distance playing as the sun set. We’ve had another halo, amazing sunset and sunrises, moon rises and sets, and stars… stunning stars, planets and shooting stars… can’t do justice to the colours, nor how much they all make me smile. Almost forgot, the flying squid! Vince wanted to cook one up, but persuaded him to liberate it, shortly afterwards I got hit by one, which Annette discovered the next day… definitely not cooking material that one.
Finally got some wind after the current drift in the last 24 hours which is awesome, down below is still like a cheap sauna however, thank god for the USB fan! We have 5 possible finish gates as it’s looking like due to the wind holes we will get a shortened race. Trying not to think of our position. We’ve got a few more races to do yet before homecoming!
Shenanigans being discussed for when we get to Panama, involving alcohol of course, as long as Vince keeps his clothes on it should be good!
Hope you’re all safe & well back home, JoJo x