We are at present still sweating profusely in the Solomon Sea.  It is estimated that we sweat around three litres of water a day – times that by 21 people that we have on the boat, and there is 63 litres of sweat sloshing about the boat somewhere.  Nice!

As well as the wonderful smell that accompanies all that sweat, we had another odd whiff coming form the ensuite area.  Upon closer investigation it seems that that potatoes that we had delivered before we left Airlie Beach came in plastic sacks.  Picking up one of the sacks, it seems the potatoes had somewhat turned to a squishy spongey matter.  That does not bode well for the potato dishes on the menu in future days!
potato1

The bags were taken – dripping – onto the deck, and the bad ones thrown over.  It was suggested that we could have used them for clay pigeon shooting – but I think the better idea was to throw them at the pirates if and when they arrive.  If we had left them where they were, they would definitely not want to board us.  Perhaps we should have left them there as our secret weapon.  Or perhaps not!  Kirsty did an excellent job cleaning out the area they were in – the smell has all but gone.  Unless of course it is covered up with all the other delightful smells on the boat.

The umbrella has now been christened “Lola”.  That was not a unanimous decision, but as Kat bought the umbrella she got to have the final say. The other option was “Marmite”.  It also appeared to have not had a maximum apparent wind strength warning – consequently it has slightly broken.  Not too bad – but we do need to keep an eye on the wind strength!  Not that that in itself is a great problem at the moment.  Wind strength would be good.  We are limping across the most beautiful blue colour sea, but it looks like glass and we are not progressing as fast as one would hope.  But compared to the other boats, we are not doing badly.  We are now in fifth position, only around nineteen miles behind the leaders.  Very doable.
race_map

Sleeping in this temperature is a challenge in itself.  The bunk is almost a no go area – especially when the lee cloth is up.  I now know why it is called a coffin bunk.  The resemblance is uncanny.  Just before it goes into the incinerator – a bit like in the James Bond movie.  Except that James Bond came out of his coffin looking as spritely as before he went in.
coffin2
Not having mirrors on the boat, and that is not a bad thing, I don’t have to see what a dripping wilted person looks like.  I can only imagine!

I have tried moving bedrooms.  Last night I tried the sail locker, but that was just as bad.  I was just as hot in there, and not as comfortable.  That is probably because I took the last space – the more comfortable sails were already occupied.  I didn’t think I slept, but the other occupants assured me that I did.  Obviously the snoring hasn’t improved any over the last few legs!
snoring
I was going to try and sleep on deck, but there was so many people going up there wasn’t really any room left.  The sail changes are an inconvenience – I suppose they do have to do them as we are in a race!

We have just passed an area called “Planet Deep” – nearly 8,300 metres deep.  Almost as deep as Everest is high.  There has been a smattering of wildlife – a few really large fish jumping out of the water trying to be dolphins.  No idea what they were, but they were big.  There was one large fish that jumped out of the water just as a small bird was flying low overhead – it missed it, but it makes a change to see a fish going for a bird rather than a bird going for a fish.  There has been an odd dolphin, and we think a whale this morning, although it would be unusual to have a whale this far north at present.  Who knows – it may just be too much sun!

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I am going to send Bridget some of your comments so if you would like me to pass yours on please leave a message for her. Thanks Paul.

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