Yesterday was a day of kite mares. Standing orders from our skipper including many practical instructions to keep us safe including notification of approaching shipping, engine room equipment maintenance etc. They also include more basic requirements for racing with kite up… namely – no broaches, no wraps, no f**k ups.
This can be quite a challenge. Perhaps inevitably with inconsistent wave patterns and wind strength, we had a couple of breaches of these standing orders – net net tired crew, now well practiced at quick kite drop, new smaller kite up to maintain speed, repair work done, wool-ing, packing, get small kite down, larger one back up – phew. In these sticky conditions it is tough and exhausting.
Everyone is working hard and at this stage we are focused and playing to people’s strengths. So it was quite amusing when with the 3 of the 4 grinders being manned by women, men watching on standby with less demanding jobs and skipper observed this might not be best approach. Despite all training in gym I had stitch, plus a good cardio work out, before we all got the giggles, which might just have slowed us down a bit – haha! Question mark, early stage delirium setting in as sleep deprivation and surreal nature of living in closely confined space for our now very closely knit team.
Out and about we have had more commercial shipping, sadly little evidence of marine life other than the odd flying fish landing on deck. We seem to have avoided further kite mares and today has brought sunshine.
After three weeks at sea we are now in the final 400 miles, in stealth mode for 24 hours, closely watching with our nearest competitors, as winds are expected to decrease the pressure is on as we approach race finish and China.