The new sport of sail-climbing

Weather on Race 15 seems to come in two flavours – not enough or too much
wind. We have had samplings of both – but unfortunately for our race
performance we’ve spent rather too much time with not enough.

After a brilliant start in Derry (if I am allowed to be everso slightly
self-congratulatory) Jamaica sailed straight into light winds where we
turned west and everybody else turned east and there we sat with everybody
else sailing off. There was wildlife to keep us company – puffins (who look
like they need to learn to fly), dolphins (doing their magic on our spirits
as always) and on several occasions pods of small whales (not pilot whales
this time but others on account of the shape of the dorsal fins). Each
siting rallied our hopes but really – given the shortness of this race –
what we really wanted to be doing was racing. It is easy to get a taste for
being at the front.

We finally left the Atlantic with storms forecast + winds building. It was
on this change-over that I got to do mother duty again + discovered the new
sport of sail climbing. The boat sails while I monkey over the units
helping my bunk-buddy in the galley to construct crew meals. The layout in
the boat is certainly designed by + for taller people than me – everything
seems just out of my reach + that is even more so when the boat is heeled
over in gusting 40 knots winds. Not so much mast-monkey as galley-gibbon.

And here we are in the North Sea trundling along at around 10 knots oil rig
platforms scattered around the horizon + heading down the Scottish east
coast before turning east ourselves towards out destination. A beautiful
sunny day with a nip in the air – so definitely keep warm weather. Who
wouldn’t want to be sailing when it’s like this?


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