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So, the time came to get back on that little old boat again and sail off into the sunset.  Well – it was sunset eventually.  We all had to back on the boat by 9am for a starting departure sequence at 1pm,  We slipped lines at 1,24pm – last but one. Except for Lmax and Qingdhao – they both had “beaching” issues and won’t be leaving until the 11th.  It wasn’t so much they got stuck on a beach, rather which beach.  This one belonged to the Brazilian military apparently, who wanted to claim the boats for scrap.

It was sad saying goodbye to Tom and David from Leg One who had come down to the dock to wave us off – I somehow had a little thought that it should be me going home on the BA flight that night and not them.  I would regret it in the future if I don’t carry on!  So carry on I did.

We left the marina in brilliant sunshine in our colourful Danang shirts – but as soon as we had our official photos taken we went down to put our foul weather gear on as advised.  We sailed down Copacabana Beach and the wind was getting up.  The ten minute gun went off before the start, and we decided to put a reef in the main sail.  With all that fiddling about, we actually didn’t get over the start line on time – we were 9th out of the ten boats.  Unicef were the only one behind us – I feel a theme coming on here!

We all headed out, and slowly but surely we clawed our way up the field. The sea was now heaving, and the winds extremely strong.  It was a very good call to put that reef in – most of the other boats were having to do it now.  After a couple of hours I went down to do dinner – and started to feel decidedly iffy.  I took a couple of seasick pills – managed to throw up in the washing up again (another theme!) and dived into my bunk. Several others had also fallen by the wayside – who is going to sail the boat?

I felt a lot better at breakfast – managed to get through the whole service without polluting the washing up at all.
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And we had been in the lead at some point during the night, although I think we have been overtaken again now.  We also heard that PSP had to turn back to Rio as they had rudder damage – how awful.  Thinking they were on their way and then not!!  There will be a whole new race when the three of them start.

The seas are really rough – there are still several that have taken to their beds.  Luckily, I am OK – touch wood!  Our watches have changed slightly this time – there are not as many people on this leg.  Eight on each watch – mostly our old watch with the addition of Valerie and James (a new person), less all those that have departed in Rio.  We have David as watch leader this time instead of Kat.

I have been back on the helm today – the first time since the spinnaker wrap.  There is no spinnaker up at the moment, so it wasn’t quite as daunting.  At least I have “got back on the horse” so to speak.

The start of the race was definitely a lot more co-ordinated this time – so hopefully that will mean we will do well and end up in the top half instead of the bottom!

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