I knew this was going to be a long leg, but when the winds were in our
favour and we were trucking along quite nicely, it looked as if it was
going to be Airlie Beach all over again and we would have some bonus days
in port.  No!  The directive has come from Clipper Head Office that we are
to have another 1200 miles added to the journey to Danang.  It seems that
some nationalities that have had to get visas could not arrive early, as
the start date of the visa is 17th February – the first day of the arrival
window.  That is one of the reasons given – the others I think are there
for window dressing.  Perhaps some better planning in future races is
needed, as, with any sporting event, it is not an absolute.  If the visas
had been applied for with a start date of a week earlier, we could have all
had five days on the beach.  A well deserved five days on the beach I
hasten to add, but then I am biased.  No point grumping over it – although
there are several on the boat that are -just need to get on with it!

For the first time in several days the sun is out.  It is very difficult to
know what to put on – the temperature is probably still in the eighties and
nineties, but it is hugely wet on deck.  Mind you, I can either sit in wet
shorts, or foulie bottoms that soak through to wet shorts so not much
difference.  My bottom is definitely suffering, and at present is showing
no sign of abating.  Along with about ninety per cent of the rest of the
crew.  It is horrible.  I know why babies make so much fuss when they have
a sore bottom now.

Not only that, I have come out with a horrible rash of prickly heat over my
body and legs.  Again, along with about ninety per cent of the rest of the
crew.  This leg is becoming really horrible – and unfortunately has just
got six days longer.  Oh what joy!

We had a fabulous display of dolphin antics on watch last night.  The first
time this leg that we have seen them. I sat and watched them glide
effortlessly through the water at a far greater speed of knots than we were
going. What beautiful graceful creatures – I will never tire of seeing them
playing off our bow.

I finished my mother watch with Marc yesterday, with Rich filming some of
it for the documentary.  I did point out on camera that I had drawn the
short straw having to be in the galley for 24 hours with Marc, at which
point he dipped his fingers in the chocolate brownie mix I was stirring and
smeared it on his face declaring “war”.  Not quite sure what the video
turned out like, as I think there may have been photo bombing in the
background. It was a bit like a cabaret show – with the added bonus of
chocolate brownies and custard for pudding.  That kept everyone happy!
Breakfast was the last meal of our rotation, when I very nearly was shoved
in the bilges by Marc, who said that I could be there for days without
anyone knowing where I was.  I dipped my fingers in the yoghurt I was
making, and declared war back.  This was now getting very silly.  Neither
war paint lasted more than a few seconds before sweat streaked it down our
faces.  Too many days at sea!

We had to be on look out last night for a yacht that was adrift with a
broken mast.  Lmax had come upon it earlier in the morning, when it is
easy to see.  At the time that we were coming up on the co-ordinates where
it was last spotted it was pitch dark, no visible moon, and squally and
showery.  Don’t think we would have seen it until we hit it if it was in
our path.  Luckily it wasn’t.  That would have really made our day!