danang
Today has been an absolutely gorgeous day.  The sun has been out all day,
and it has been back to shorts and tee shirts.  What a difference from the
rest of the trip.  The spinnaker has been up all day, and not one wrap in
sight.  This is the more pleasurable side of sailing.

The foul weather gear and boots have had a chance to dry out, having great
big salt stains where the sea water has dried,  although everything else is
still sopping wet.  Gloves, hats, etc.  And they stink.  Not sure if that
smell will ever come out.  The wet clothes I had from Leg One still smell a
bit off even after they had been washed.  Will give them a go in my own
washing machine when I get to Capetown.  Washing and shopping, a stopover
dream!

I had a good four hours sleep this morning, so feel rather refreshed.  How
things change.  Four hours at home and I would be a walking zombie.  Mind
you, I have been far luckier than some, having the ability to go to sleep
as soon as my head hits the pillow. Might be something to do with a goose
down pillow that is so comfortable.  Banno, my upper bunk mate for this
trip, is always getting up and saying “Did you sleep through that?  Yes of
course you did!”  Most of the time the noise of the winches and grinders
just above our heads keep everyone awake.  Not me.  And unfortunately my
snoring just reiterates that I am asleep and they are not.  They will miss
it when they get off!

Just as we came off a very pleasant afternoon watch, the cry of “Whales”
came from up on deck.  We all rushed up to a completely empty sea.  Another
false alarm.  A couple said they had seen splashes, and water blowing, so
we all looked with great anticipation.  Then we saw a couple.
whale2
One put his fluke out of the water, and another did a semi breach.  We saw another couple of water blows, but alas that was all we were to get.  At least we have now seen them though.  All the other boats were reporting that they had seen pods of whales.  I think we felt a bit left out.  We were reliably informed that they were hump backs, but without anyone else having a clue what they were that’s what we are going for.

“Pops” had mended (of sorts) my sunglasses, and not a day too late.  I would
have struggled without them today, and I hate borrowing other people’s.  I
thought I had brought a spare pair, but I have yet to locate them, if at
all.
pops
The last of the “Dad’s Army” left on board.  I am sure there will be
other things to fix along the way.

One of the toilets has gone wrong, so we have been down to one.  With
seventeen people on board, there is always a queue at the start and end of
the watches.  The other one has been “bodged” up, so it can be used for wee
only, and you have to pump water out of the tap to flush it.  How I look
forward to pushing a button, and will never again sit on a proper toilet
and not appreciate it not swinging and banging and then having to get up
and pump the hell out of it to get rid of the waste.
race
We seem to be doing comparatively well this race, we are firmly in the
middle of the pack.  The winds have stopped for the boats in the lead, and
we have made up a hundred miles or so in the last 24 hours. Hopefully we
will finish in about seventh place, although Lmax and Qingdhou will finish
after us, but may jump in front due to the elapsed time.  It is nice not to
be fighting to avoid last place though.

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