A New Record. A Swim! And A Little Horticulture.

Sorry for not posting yesterday. Those watching closely will know that most
of the fleet have been dealing with some pretty rough conditions. I took a
dive South the night before last to line up for a quicker passage through
the two major fronts standing in the way of nice conditions again.
That dive made my overall standing look terrible, and it was very
demoralising to see the placings drop, but I’m confident it will pay back in
the long run. I’m already back up to third in class, and have a lot of
leverage on the two others reported as being in front me in terms of
distance to finish.

Dinah’s new top speed is officially 17.5knts, seen during the night last
night in pitch black, huge seas, and driving rain. She was handling like she
was on train tracks and surfed effortlessly along three waves, accelerating
all the time, with me grinning like a cheshire cat.

Then earlier this morning I saw a monster wave approaching, completely out of synch with the main run. I even managed to shout “WAVE!” at Britney, but she didn’t react quickly enugh for some reason. Britney is my autopilot by the way (Britney Steers). The wave picked up the whole boat and flung it I
don’t know how far, flat onto its side. It ripped one of the rope bags clean
off the side of the coachroof never to be seen again, and left me swimming
looking at the now vertical cockpit next to me. Before I had a chance to do
anything Dinah righted herself again scooping me up nicely. I was tethered
to the boat anyway, but I’m glad I didn’t have to deal with trying to climb
in over the back.

And lastly, this afternoon, I was hand steeering again, and noticed
something in the water in front. Believe it or not, there was a whole tree
bobbing along merrily on its way to wherever. Amazing. I’m sure it must have weighed at least a few ton, and I shudder to think what would have happened if we hit it at full speed, for example if we happened to be passing it by night. Good collision avoidance practise for the icebergs next week anyway I guess!

I’d best get back on deck as the breeze seems to have shifted again, so I’ll
have to deal with confused seas for a while. This has been such a great race
so far, but I must say I’mm looking forward to getting out of this rough
stuff in another 24hrs or so. Then it’ll be time for dry clothes, and some
more regular rest.

Thanks again for all the good wishes. Enjoy month-end at work. Well done the Lions! Fingers crossed for another notch in tonights position report again.