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We had a brief spell of blue sky and sunshine this morning – very brief. In between the perpetual grey skies of grey, dark grey, even darker grey and black.  Seems like it has been like that for weeks.  Oh, and that blue sky was also interspersed with rain, sleet and hail.  Hail stones that bounced six inches back off the deck. And very, very, wet decks.  With small ice sheets draining away with the water.  My foulies weigh so much heavier with all the water that they have soaked up.  Some people haven’t quite got the hang of doing up their seals on their jackets and trousers – and have paid the price.  Soaked all the way through.

We have had our first accident on board this leg.  Vesna was on deck when the boat lurched, and she fell very heavily on to the winch handle in its pocket on the side of the cockpit. No major damage done, but enough to put her in her bunk.  I think there may be some quite substantial bruising there.

There was another almighty wave that broke over the deck last night.  I had just finished my thirty minute stint, when there was a huge crashing sound from above.  Three people were on deck, but were all clipped on and fine. But very, very wet.  Craig was on the helm, and described the wave as probably as tall as the mast, with the water just keeping coming and coming.  It filled the cockpit like a jacuzzi.  Not the same temperature though!

We crossed the international date line at 1910 local time two nights ago. Which meant that Dora did not have her birthday on the day she planned.  So she celebrated it on the day before anyway.  I suppose if you think your birthday is going to be the next day, it is rather cruel to have it swiftly taken away.  That meant we had the 6th April twice.  Weird.  We are now 12 hours behind GMT instead of 12 hours ahead.  I was going to say UK time, but I presume that there has been a BST change by now.  Like living in a bubble on this boat – no idea what is going on.

There are several things (as usual) on the boat that aren’t working.  When we left China, Wendo was trying to get the mast instruments to work.  These are displays that show, among other things, speed, wind speed, wind angle and compass direction.  There was nothing we could do to get them to go, so an email went off to Clipper for help.  The answer – they had been switched off, as a couple of boats were having trouble with theirs, so everyone’s were disabled.  Good communication there when the skipper doesn’t get told.

The compass lights have gone.  Not a problem during the day, but at night we can’t see which direction we are heading in.  Not a problem if we are steering from the starboard helm, as the two displays at the wheel work, and we can get compass heading on one of them.  If we are steering from port, only one works.  So no compass direction there.
Perhaps we could suggest that all the other boats switch off their compass lights and one of their displays on the port side to make it fair?
I think know what the answer would be!
Oh, and two of the gas burners on the oven have stopped working.  But we still have three so what could go wrong?

My bunk buddy has taken sharing my bunk to a new level – she is sharing my sleeping bag as well.  To be fair I did offer, as mine is quite nice and toastie, and hers really is not suitable for these freezing conditions.  What she doesn’t know is that the routine of new undie Sunday has taken on a new meaning.  Instead of changing clothes, I am just wearing the clean ones on top of the dirty ones to try and keep warm.  I suppose that the clean ones are nearest the sleeping bag rather than the dirty ones, so not too gross!
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We are, yet again, in the middle of two low pressure systems.  The one just gone was not too bad (comparatively speaking, that is) but the one about to hit us looks a bit of a monster. The positive is that it is behind us and we are going downwind, so it won’t feel as bad as the upwind ones.
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When do we arrive in Seattle………….?
A few days behind the other boats I think.  The lead boats seem to be getting away from us, as they are probably under spinnaker and in a completely different weather area to us know.  They are over 400 miles ahead.
Not good for morale, as it also means less time in port.
The joys of the Pacific.

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