Since we eventually lost sight of Madeira, the only living things we have
had for company have been birds. No dolphins, no turtles, no ships –
absolutely nothing.  The nearest to a human we have been is probably the
International Space Station that has gone past a few times in the last few
days.  Spooky.

Well – not spooky really.  It seems that we are the only boat in the fleet
to have taken this course, which has put us well and truly last at this
moment in time.  Not intentionally – Wendo said that to go a different
route to the rest of the fleet in a yacht race is the wrong thing to
do.  Unfortunately, we did not have the schedules and updates coming
through every six hours to let us know where the rest of the fleet was, nor
the weather forecast.  So really, instead of us being in stealth mode, the
rest of the fleet is in stealth mode from us.  We do know where they are
now – nowhere near us!  I feel we might pick up some corridor of wind and
whizz past all the rest in the next few days.

At lunch time yesterday when the sun was beating down on deck and there was no shade, we finished our lunch and Wendo asked when the ice cream van was coming round.  Ha!  Sandra had given me some freeze dried ice cream and strawberries before I left.  Everyone looked in amazement when I said I had some ice cream.  It wasn’t quite as good as the real thing, but it did taste like Neapolitan. Just not ice cold.  But, the whole crew had desert of strawberries and ice cream – thank you Sandra!

The night shift came with a tropical squall.  Still very hot, but very wet.
The water was coming off the sails like a river.  Just the weather for tacking.
But indoors wasn’t an option so it didn’t really matter what we were doing.  At least the wind had picked up a little so we could get a bit of speed.  Just wasn’t taking us in the right direction – at one point we were heading north back to the UK!  There was another wind hole that looked about 160 miles across that we were trying to skirt around – well it was there a few days ago.  Who knows if it is still there?

This morning the mood was quite despondent.  Through no fault of our own,
we are out on a limb and at the back of the fleet.  Wendy, I think, is
feeling the pressure.  It isn’t her fault either – she is doing the best with what she has.  I think we will come good.

My mood was quite despondent for a totally different reason.  When I got up
after a very hot and sticky sleep, Mark commented that I looked hot, and
today might be the day for a bucket of water over the head.  Fair comment.
Matt followed me out of the corridor, and Matt commented that he looked as
if he had just come out of the hair salon.  I must be doing something
wrong!  Matt has already been christened Miss World – although there may be
another couple of contenders in the running.

We then had to do a spinnaker peel – which involved Matt going out on a
rope to the foot of the spinnaker, taking the old ropes off, putting new
ones on, all whilst hanging upside down over the water.  Lara videoed it
all, so I have no doubt that it will be on YouTube once we get to Rio.  It
may even be used as an audition for a future James Bond movie.  And yes –
his hair was still perfect when he came back in.

No such stunts for me – the most exciting thing I have got up to was
repairing a zip on a sail bag.  And I had to do that twice – put it on the
wrong way round first time.  No hope for some people!!