alarm

Sleep is something that is a luxury at the moment. It seems that the four
hour off watches are down to one and a half hours sleep, and the six hour
off watches three hours sleep.  That is not conducive to me performing at
my best.  For one that usually has a minimum of eight hours uninterrupted
slumber in a very comfortable bed, I am struggling big time.  How I long
for that lovely dog walk first thing in the morning, followed by a long hot
shower.  I will appreciate everything I have when I get home rather than
take things for granted.
dogs
Emilia had an accident a couple of days ago, catching her arm between a
flapping sail and the forestay.  She may have got a small fracture, so has
her arm in a splint.  She is very unhappy,  Not the way that she wanted her
race to end.  Hopefully it isn’t badly hurt, and no surgery will be required.  For one so young, this has been a huge adventure.  I am sure she will look back fondly at her time on the boat, as she is a very capable young lady.

We have just finished the Ocean Sprint on this leg.  Unlike the last leg
when we were one of the last boats to start, we started in the middle of
the pack.  We had fairly good winds, and managed to have a spinnaker up for
part of the time.  It got in a bit of a twist (story of our life!) but came
out OK, but then the winds picked up very quickly so we had to drop it.
Luckily for us we did.  The bottom of the sail where the clew joins was
almost off.  If we had left it up any longer it may have torn off
completely, and that would have been the end of that.
man
David managed to mend it with a drill (yes, that is not a typo, I did mean a drill) and it is all ready to go again.  The wind was not in the right direction for the spinnaker to go up again, so we finished the race with head sails.  We did really well, but not well enough.  Derry had a time of 13 minutes faster than us.  And you get nothing for second.  There are still quite a few boats to finish, so we may finish well down the list.

The sun put in a very brief appearance yesterday, but my sunglasses became
terminal, with the arm falling off as well.  For the first time in days,
there were stars in the sky, and a beautiful moon shining onto the sea.
The sunrise this morning was amazing.  The whole sky was pink, purple and
red.  Then it disappeared under the blanket of cloud that has been with us
virtually since we left Rio.   It is so much more pleasant sailing with the
sun on your back.  The night shift last night was beautiful, but was the
coldest that I had been.  Chilled through to the bones, despite having five
layers of clothes on.  Brrr.

I am really looking forward to Capetown now.  I know this leg has been
nowhere as long as the last one, but I think it has been far more
demanding.  Coupled with little sleep and extreme cold weather, I can feel
the pull of normality tugging at my shirt sleeves.  It is predicted that we
will arrive on 21st October, and that can’t come quick enough.  We should
have a full ten days there if we do arrive then.  Apart from stocking the
boat for the next leg, I don’t think I am going to leave the apartment!!

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Fantastic aerial footage from race 2 start here:-

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