My anchor watch was 5.30am to 6.30am – result!  I got a whole nights’ sleep.  Brian, on the other hand, had to sleep in the sail locker as I needed my bunk.  He said it was comfortable, although I have my doubts!  The batteries that make the lights etc work seemed to be a bit low, so we had to switch on the engines to top them up.  Early wake up call for everyone!

We seemed to have ran out of water again, so I cleaned my teeth in salt water.  Yuk!!  After breakfast we had to do some towing exercises.  We had to tow the Telemed boat, and then they had to tow us.  After a few futile attempts to get the towing line over to them with buoys attached, we finally managed it with the throw rope.  They had a very serious American on the radio, who sounded just like the man from NASA.  When the first couple of attempts to get the line over to them failed, we half expected to hear “Houston, we have a problem” come over the radio.  Not sure if they could hear the laughter coming from our boat after their broadcasts, or the slightly dodgy responses, but they didn’t let on.  We had to tow for half an hour and be towed for half an hour.  All in lovely calm waters – no problem at all!

For the last afternoon we put the spinnaker up for the final time – and with the amount of wind we nearly made it across to France!  Only trouble was we had to come all the way back again at nowhere near the same speed.  It took ages to get back.

We then had to practice a search pattern with all the other boats.  “Someone” had gone overboard and was lost, and we all had to operate a search pattern to find them.  We were doing the two minutes one way, change direction by 20 degrees going two minutes the other, with all hands on deck looking over the rails spotting.  We spotted the dan buoy after about twenty minutes, and went to retrieve it.  Apparently, there was something else overboard too.  Just we were motoring to our anchor spot, Wendy saw some broccoli in the water with wool around it.  That was it!  Who would have thought, with the whole of the ocean to get lost in, that a small head of broccoli would be rescued.  We must have got a gold star for that!!  John tried out his drysuit to rescue it – and it worked.  At least he doesn’t have to wait for the real thing to discover it doesn’t have a leak.

It was my turn for dinner again tonight – and in the calm of Stokes Bay I had none of the throwing up in the washing up water mularky that I had last time.  Everything went perfectly to plan.  My anchor watch was 10pm to 11pm – and then another night’s sleep.  And Brian was in the sail locker again!!

We sailed the short way back to Gosport the following morning, to complete the deep clean.  Another week – the final week – completed, and I am now apparently race ready.  #dontthinkso