We didn’t quite make it! – Day 6

Well the bottom line is/was that we didn’t make it to the scoring gate at
the front of the fleet – only the first three boats score. The reason(s):
not an aggressive enough sail plan early on in the race, we deferred gybing
 hoping to sail in on the same tack (and consequently sailed into a light
wind pocket so lost ground), basically we got the race plan wrong.

It was Port Watch (my watch) on duty in the early hours of this morning and
we had been quite chipper and up-beat up to the moment at 5 am when we
intercepted a communication from OneDLL to Derry (who were second) asking
for confirmation of who had passed through the gate. Oh well, we tried. We
were a bit down after that – but at those hours of the morning when you are
completely sleep deprived you grasp at anything to keep a positive outlook
on existence.

Dawn came in a grey + overcast – a rather ‘British’ morning in fact with
the sea looking very metallic in the cloud-filtered light. But then we saw
a pod of about 50 dolphins feeding at a little distance from the boat + we
were circled by some unknown seabird + life seemed a whole lot better as
the sun peeped out between the clouds. Forget the scoring gate – we are
making for the next bit of the race.

Watch change over is at 8am when everybody materialises on deck for the
night’s summary round-up from the skipper. A moment longed for by the night
watch because by this time you are beyond exhausted – except I didn’t make
it + fell asleep with 15 minutes to go. Everybody left me asleep + the up-
shot was a public dressing down from the skipper which I of course
deserved. Have resolved at the next svart moot to ask the others to wake me
up rather than be left for public humiliation.

It is lunchtime now and if we haven’t passed into the tropics we are pretty
close – the temperature has really soared + we are down to tropical kit +
life-jackets. The wind has gone all summery + relaxed too (as expected
sadly) + the lightest kite – the C1 – is now launched + the boat is ambling
along still rocking + rolling down the swell.

We’ll be off the coast of Mexico shortly. Still hoping for that illusive
wildlife to make the day just that little bit more special.

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