Going for it

Today has been a monochrome day of grey skies + mountainous slate-grey sea,
the iceberg white/aquamarine of the wave crests + sea-spray being the only
(slightly incongruous) colour in this seascape. We have 25 knots of wind or
there abouts + we are doing our utmost to hang onto the lead. We want those
3 points for going through the scoring gate first and then the 12 points on
offer after that.

If it is going to be this uncomfortable then it might as well be in a good
cause. Derry (CV30) has been challenging us hard – there is nothing like
sailing to victory coming into your own home port. This morning we hoisted
the C3 spinnaker in reply (as against the safer sail plan of yankie +
staysail) + are now making about 13 knots. The air temperature has risen
since yesterday (just) but the crew on deck is still taking a battering +
so we are rotating hourly, each hour half the watch going up to man the
vital ropes to prevent the boat being over-powered. Right now it feels like
we are on a run-away train. As I type it is 26 miles to the scoring gate –
2 hours to the first of our tally of points.

Life definitely feels like it’s on the edge. I wouldn’t say I feel fearful
right now – when things go wrong (and we’ve had a couple of ‘All hands on
deck’ today) I find there is too much to concentrate on (getting the right
lines pulled in/thrown off sort of stuff) to have superfluous worries  of
the ‘what if’ type. I would say I am grimly determined along with every
other member of the crew.

Still a long way to go but a shorter distance than for everybody else in
the fleet that has to be a bonus.

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