The start date of the race came around all too soon.  I could do with a
week of complete relaxation to recharge my batteries.  I should be so
lucky!

All my gear had been taken to the boat on Monday – all personal gear has to
be stored the day before race day.  Linda’s neighbour had brought round a
huge fruit cake for the boat, so everyone was happy there.  There was just
me and my pyjamas to go.  I had ordered a taxi to collect me at 8.30am as
Linda was working.  At quarter to nine I was beginning to wonder of they
were going to turn up.  When I phoned to chase them, I was told that all
the Clipper people wanted to go at this time.  Obviously I had to wait my
turn!!  He did arrive, and we stopped off at a Vietnamese (coincidence!)
bakery to get the sandwiches, pies and croissants I had ordered the day
before for the first days food.  That way, no-one has to be mother on race
day, when sea sickness may be an issue.  He wasn’t happy at stopping there,
but I had advised that when I ordered the taxi so he should have known.
We loaded the boot, and then I asked him to stop at a florists so I could
order Linda some flowers as a thank you for her hospitality.  He was
especially not happy then.  Who is the customer here?  No tip for him.
taxi
The boat was loaded with the food, and I am glad to say that our stay sail
had arrived back from Perth, where it had been repaired.  The main sail was
being hanked back on, so we were all good to go.  Everyone turned up (you
never know!) so we slipped our lines at 12.12pm.
Leg4 danang2
The race start wasn’t until 3pm, but we had the usual Parade of Sails for the people of Albany. There were several on the harbour walls, and when we got out into the bay, the main road had been shut off and all the cars and people were watching on the hill. It was our turn to lead the parade, so the other eleven boats followed us. A small plane was doing aerobatics above the line, and he then came down low and waved us all off.
Leg4 danang1
We tacked about a bit, saw where the starting line was, and decided on the
best line to go over.  At 3pm we all started, and took several tacks
backwards and forwards to get out of the bay, as the wind wasn’t taking us
in the direction that we wanted to go.  That took a good couple of hours,
in which time we had our spinnaker up and taken down again.  Successfully,
I might add.  The sinks in the toilets have been fixed, so I am back
cleaning my teeth with sea water and spitting in the sink.  Without the
putrid smell.  Whoopee!!
off to sydney
I am on starboard watch this time, with Emily as my watch leader – her
first time.  Emily is only doing legs one, two, three and four, so we will
be saying goodbye to her after the three races in this leg.  I met Emily at
my interview way back in June of last year, so we have known each other for
a long time.

We have lost our two best poets, Olly and George, along with Doctor Harry and Neil from the other watch, and gained Sandra, Lauren and Rob.  Rob has jointed starboard watch – he has previously done a leg on the clipper race.  We are slightly short of muscle on this leg, but I am hoping that home waters for Wendo, Michael and David will give us a slight advantage.
Leg4 danang3
We seemed to start quite well – getting up to second at one point.  Three
or four of us went one way, and the rest went the other.  It didn’t take
long for us to be down in tenth place.  How did that happen?  We had a good
toussle with the Teletubbies, and not only overtook them but completely
smoked them!  Small victories!

So today I am mother again.  Ever since we left the harbour we have had the
wind on the nose – coming straight at us.  This means that the boat is at
ridiculous angle of lean – and apparently will be for most of the next one
thousand miles.  Oh what joy!  I was on the am shift this morning, and had
to swap out for mother duty at 9am.  It was just a teeny bit choppy, and I
started to feel a little unwell when the onions were being chopped.
bridgets bucket
I went to the top of the companion way for some air just when a bucket was being passed down for the bilge water.  I took my opportunity to throw up in it
before it passed me by!  According to those sat in the vicinity, they had
missed photographing my finest hour because they had no camera to hand.
Shame!!  Better than the washing up bowl I suppose – or even worse, in the
corn chowder!

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Bridget only has basic email facilities on the boat. Editing and the choice of images on this blog is entirely by Paul keevil!
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