2016 – we have clicked over to the 16 part of the 2015-16 race.  Four
months gone, seven to go.  Nearly at the end of Leg 4 of 8, but it
seems we are taking the scenic way home.

We started the third and last race of this all Australia leg in
somewhat cooler conditions than I would have expected.  Hobart is very similar in temperature to the UK.  It was an early start, as there was another
regatta due to start in the afternoon, and they wanted us well out if the way
before then.

We slipped lines at 9am, and had a very short parade of sail – we
nearly didn’t make it at all as our main sail halyard came undone as we were
hoisting it.  Took a little while to send Matt up the mast with the
other end to rethread it and get it all plugged in again.  But we did, and
we took our place a the end – doesn’t matter where you start, it is where
you finish that counts!

We were not first over the line, but we had David at the helm with all
of his local knowledge.  Which meant we were first out of the Derwent, by
quite a few yards.  I know that, because Paul was on a little boat
following us and that’s what he communicated.

It was hard saying goodbye to family this time – not sure when we are all going to meet up again.

We kept our lead along Storm Bay, and hung a left around Tasman
Island. This was where there was a helicopter when we came in a few days ago – it turned out to be a photography helicopter, and the photos were rather
good so I am now $605 lighter, but will have a memento to hang up on my
wall! The dolphins that escorted us in were there again to escort us out.

It was lovely to see all the fleet behind us again – we got the
spinnaker flying and all was good.  We could see the the others come around the corner and pop their spinnakers.  A lovely sight.  Local knowledge
helps.  We kept the spinnaker up for a good few hours before the wind
started to pick up.

Then it started to get really fruity.  The wind at least was in the
right direction, and we were trucking along quite nicely.  It may have
been in the right direction, but the boat was on a 45 degree angle.
And still is – three days later.  We passed Sydney in two and a half
days, so the speed is good.  But life is not comfortable!

The computer screen is not working, so I am having to type this in the
nav station.  Which means every few minutes someone needs it, and I
have to stop.

I am the only crew member with internet access this leg, and the crew
pc doesn’t seem to come under anyones remit on board, which means that
there is no urgency to get it fixed.  Shame!

The conditions at present are not exactly as one would imagine.  I did
say “Welcome to the Sunshine Coast” at lunch today, but was told we
weren’t there yet.  Must be why it is a grey January day, raining and
miserable, and very, very wet on deck.  There is so much water coming
over, I actually came off shift today with a soggy bottom.  The
foulies obviously can’t cope with sitting in what amounts to a
paddling pool.  The water had ran up my sleeve and soaked my clothes,
and I was wet down to my pants.  The only thing that wasn’t wet was my
socks!  The one consolation is that the water is fairly warm – until
the wind whistles round and cools it down.  Champagne sailing at its

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PS: I have posted a new video from Clipper showing the Sydney Hobart race
in Bridget’s blog “And the winner is……….”