We finished the Ocean sprint thirteen minutes later than we needed to win. The last few hours the wind just dropped. What a shame. I think a couple of others may have also beaten the time, but as our comms are still not working properly so we have not had the results! What a shambles.

The instruments still keep switching themselves off, and the official
emails coming in with all the information are all dated 2098, so are in random order on the system. Nightmare.

The compass light on the helm, that you need to put on at night to be able to see it, is so bright that you have to cover it up because it ruins your night vision.
nail varnish
Lara had some red nail varnish, so we have painted the bulb red and that is a lot better. Who put bright bulbs in? There are two helms, one either side of the boat. Each has the same instruments – but the compass on one side shows fifteen degrees different to the other.

Friday afternoon boat!

As soon as we got past ten degrees, the wind picked up again. Luck of the draw. But the sea calmed down a bit, so it was nowhere near as choppy. That pleased a lot of people.

Not only that, the wind changed direction so that we could get the
spinnaker out again. Good news and bad news. The boat doesn’t heel over quite as much with a spinnaker, so it is easier to get around. But that does mean spinnaker trimming again – my hands are so looking forward to that!
There was a total lunar eclipse last night – and I missed it. With no TV or newspapers no one knew it was due. It happened on the night when we had two night shifts – but between the hours of 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock when I was asleep. It was – apparently – spectacular. The moon turned blood red, as did the sky. It was a full moon as well, and a clear sky. When we came on watch at 2am there was about a third of the moon covered. Oh well – I expect there will be another one in about fifty years time!

We had a bit of tensions over breakfast in the galley this morning – I quietly slipped out and got into bed. Surprisingly, as far as I know, there have been very few issues. Realistically, there have probably been loads but I have just missed them. Twenty two people in this tiny space have seemed to get on very well.

We are still ahead of Unicef at present – and we have just gone into
“Stealth Mode”. This means that for 24 hours the other boats won’t know where we are. There were suggestions that we blacked our faces and got our the ninja masks – but the only thing we got was Kat in a banana suit.

In the oppressive heat of the midday sun, Kat decided to take the meeting today dressed as a banana. I would never have dreamed of putting a banana costume in my kit bag! It reminds her of Rio and Carnival. Mine is not to reason why. She did helm for a short while – a huge container ship passed us about a mile away. I wonder if anyone on it had binoculars – if they did I wonder what they thought!

Every boat can go into stealth mode once in every leg. If they have a tactic that they don’t want the others to see that may come in handy. We are just using it because we have it, and we haven’t used it yet. I don’t think the boats that are already docked in Rio will be bothered. Those that are within a couple of hundred miles won’t be bothered. The only ones close are Unicef behind us, and Mission Impossible just in front. They are closer to land than us, and we have just got some weather reports through that shows that they are having 30 knots of breeze whereas we are only having about fifteen. The surprise will be that we will be last again, I think!

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