no5

The day started at midnight again – and the good news was we had passed three other boats during the last shift. The bad news was the wind had got up, the seas were rougher and the boat was heeling at 45 degrees. That feel good feeling didn’t last long then! We (again the royal we) changed a head sail. In this wind!! Linda fell out of the companionway with the sail bag and badly bruised her wrist and ribs. I sat with her on deck for the rest of the shift and tried to keep her mind off it. Her wrist was swollen quite badly, and at this point we didn’t know if it was broken or not. Cheryl is a physio, and she thought there was only soft tissue damage. We got Linda down below decks and into her bunk, so at least she could rest in comparative comfort. I climbed into my bunk at 4.30am – another short sleep then!

When I woke up at 6am for the next shift, I had to pull myself out of the cave locker – the boat was heeling the other way round, so I was lying against the wall and the lockers. Good job I have a fat backside – it was probably that that stopped me going in totally! I helmed for a lot of this shift – at least there is something to hang on to. I quite like that job – it is like being in a little cage, and I have a sense of safety. Even Rowena, who is older than me but much fitter, seems to have developed a soft spot for me seems to want to take me under her wing. Obviously likes the underdog! I seem to do so much better when the boat is the right way up. Phil didn’t make it up on deck this shift – he took it upon himself to deep clean the whole of the below decks. I was very impressed. I heard afterwards that there had been a few comments about the cleanliness of the toilets when we went off shift from the other watch. I hadn’t heard anything – but then most things go over my head! Whilst he was down below we put the spinnaker up and got a good move on!

The 2pm to 6pm saw the finish of the second race, and we came a very close 3rd place. We had a tousle with Team Olivier and it could have been either of us. We heard later that Olivier had “let us beat him” – typical French attitude!! We beat him fair and square. It was a good finish though, with a lot of good banter going between the boats. We then did another transfer between boats – this time for real. We had ran out of water – apparently we weren’t supposed to use it for washing up, so we had gone through our limited supply too quickly. The other boat had ran out of tea bags. We didn’t have that many tea bags left, so we put some green tea bags in to make up the numbers. When we got the water back, they sent the green tea back as well. Obviously no green tea lovers on that boat then!

We anchored at Stokes Bay, where we had an “Abandon Ship” drill. Hope we never have to do that for real! We used the makeshift funnel to get the water into the tanks again, and had a group debrief over dinner. It was a general consensus that heeling is the pits!

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