Monochrome days

It would seem that the time of wearing shorts is behind us as the air has a
definite nip + the crew as one has reverted to wearing layers of
clothing under our foulies. This has the down side of taking forever to get
dressed before coming on watch + a certain about of bad temper about being
in each other’s way.

Mind you ‘personal space’ is a relative notion. When living in close
quarters as we do personal space is tantamount reduced to internal
inspection because that ‘no contact’ rule so carefully observed on land is
impossible to achieve on boat when you are quite literally always being
thrown together.

Politeness goes out the window too. Space is tight + people get
rather demanding. This has surprised me because I would have thought
co-operation (especially when trying to struggle into our impossibly
difficult to get on foulies) would have been more the order of the day.
Funny to see how some people behave when under duress.

Well, we did it. At 20:33 (local time) last night we passed through the
scoring gate front of the fleet to collect our three points. A brief cheer
then we carried on sailing same as before.

With 1400-odd miles to go we are now over half way – now that’s worth
smiling about. The sponsors have told us there is a bottle of Bushmills for
the first Irish person ‘home’ + since only Derry + ourselves have Irish
crew that sort of makes it a bit of a grudge match.

Luckily we have avoided icebergs. Not so the others in the fleet + growlers
have been reported. They are the ones that don’t stick out of the water –
but any icebergs is not good news.

Another monochrome morning but as the wind has died a little no white
horses to grace the sea. But more seabirds – brown small albatross-like
ones – who glide effortlessly above the sea surface. Seabirds are amazing –
I thought we would see a lot more – you never see them crash + burn so to
speak. They are so amazingly graceful with their aerial acrobatics. How do
they come to get so good?

We were also joined briefly by a pod of pilot whales. Larger, darker + more
ponderous swimmers that dolphins they bowled along with us for a while. Now
that definitely has to be worth 10 points in the Eye Spy book of what to
look for when doing an ocean crossing. Funny what you remember from being a
kid – the ubiquitous Eye Spy books for keeping you quiet when going on
holiday is a memory that comes back for me.


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