Day 7 finds us in the doldrums with a cormorant resting on our starboard helm. Since we left Airlie beach it has got hotter and hotter and we are all melting. Burning sun and high humidity. Night time is glorious not just for the wide expanse of stars some nights but also simply because of the relative relief from the heat.
Our team is made up of a diverse crew of 20 – mostly Europeans, Swiss, German, French plus our Chinese ambassadors. Our round the world crew are an experienced pretty well bonded bunch, who have shown us newbie leggers much patience as we become reacquainted with sailing the Clipper 70.
We are lucky that the conditions so far have been quite benign, mostly off the wind, although even the little we had upwind was pretty uncomfortable. Scrambling around at 45 degrees becomes quite a challenge above and below decks.
So far mother nature has been kind to us… one night we witnessed a wonderful lunar eclipse, another a massive rain squall of warm rain, which was a blissful shower and temporary respite from the heat. Helming with intense rain tested the capability of my eyelids as I struggled to see, with mouth wide open to enjoy the taste of fresh water, happily not captured on film by our media crew!
Hard to believe we have been at sea for a week. Little time for conversation not related to sailing and the race, as for the most part we are pretty focused. This is of course essential as we have much to learn to work together on sail changes and all aspects of contributing to the safe running of our boat. As we have more time together I hope this will change. And we certainly do have much time together as this is a long race. Each day seems to merge into another and as we wake after being off watch it matters not what time of day it is… sleep ,eat, sail, repeat.
For me this race will be as much about the sailing as about the people – what can we learn about ourselves and from each other in these cramped conditions. What I have noticed so far is that simple kindness, being willing to contribute and appreciation for advice or help given makes a massive difference to living together. And I remain deeply curious to discover more about my fellow team mates.