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The wind picked up this morning, and we had to do a sail change – take the
large yankee one down, and go to the somewhat smaller yankee three,
missing two out completely.  I was on the yankee sheet – the job almost
that I hate the most.  There is so much load on a yankee sheet, it nearly
takes your arm out of your shoulder socket.  That went not too bad, if you
take out the sea blasting into your face as you sit on the low side to
pull the sheet in.  then you have to flake it. “Where do you want me?” I
ask Lara.  “Where would you like to go?” she replies. “Home” I said.
Everyone thought that was very amusing.   Flaking the yankee one up on
deck this morning in 30 plus knots of wind (that is folding it neatly into
its sail bag) was nowhere near as good as being at home.  Just under four
months to go!

Paul has not been adding when the Stormhoek Social Spirit Award opens on facebook for the voting, as he was rather miffed when the rules seemingly changed when we would have won for the third time.
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It reminds me of when John Sargeant was competing in Strictly Come Dancing, was absolutely terrible but very likeable, and would have won had he not withdrawn (or was he pushed?).
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7737447.stm

When it is left to a democratic public vote, there is no telling what will happen.  Apologies to those who are not in the UK and have never heard of Strictly Come Dancing, but I think you get the gist. If you want to be able to manipulate the result, you must leave yourself a rule in there to be able to do so from the outset.  Lmax won the last one, for attending a dismasted boat.  But that happened in the race before, so it is getting a little bit laughable.  Please don’t stop voting – we always look for the votes and the messages on the  tormhoek page, as I am sure other boats do too.  Stormhoek have also gone down in my estimation for letting that happen.  Good job the BBC are not involved – there would have to be an enquiry!

We have now ran out of tomatoes.  We opened the esky the other day, and the top layer of about 10kg of fresh tomatoes were covered in a lovely white hairy stuff.
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Think it must be the warm weather no-one was expecting.  It certainly has changed now though.  When I poke my toe out of my sleeping bag there is a definite nip in the air, so the socks have to stay on.  We are still heading northwards, so no doubt there is worse to come.  There is always worse to come!

We have damaged our main sail again.  The top two battens have broken in the battering that it got in some of the high winds that we have had.  It doesn’t mean that we have to take it down, but it does take a little of the power out of it, which makes us slower.  Just what we need as we head across one of the biggest expanses of water in the world.  Someone mentioned that on a heading we were on yesterday we were heading straight for Hawaii.  Doesn’t sound like a bad idea!

As I am almost laying in the nav station typing this, with my feet somewhat wedging me in to keep me from falling out, I do wonder how long the next four months can last.  I can’t believe that seven months have already gone – and I am still here hanging on by my finger nails.  It definitely feels as if we are heading for home, but four months still seems like a life time away.
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I wonder if I will miss any of this?  James said the other day that you never enjoy an adventure whilst you are on it, but when you recall all the details after it has finished that is when you realise what an absolutely fabulous time you have had.  Hmm……………………

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I nickname this blog  “Strictly Stormhoek?”
Editing and the choice of images on this blog is entirely by Paul Keevil!
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