Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Clipper Race Sailing day 10

With so much of the same, the blogs are short, but today's crew blog is interesting at least:

We are now over a week out from Brisbane, and are nearing the 1500 mile mark, but the racing is still happening at very close quarters. Last night SwitzerlandGREAT Britain and Old Pulteney kindly kept us company before Mother Nature provided the entertainment, in the form of an epic electrical storm.
For over two hours, sheet lightening exploded to our starboard bow like a laser show. The only downside was that we were going to have to sail through the ensuing storm. There was a an eerie 'calm before the storm', as we bobbed about watching the pyrotechnics and the brooding band of thick black sky, waiting for the wind to pick up. One by one, the lights from boats ahead disappeared into the dark. The worst of the storm passed to our starboard side, but we still had to dance our way through some feisty wind and
horizontal, sheeting rain for about 45 minutes (the shower was much needed - had we not been at a near horizontal angle, I would have been tempted to dash below deck and grab some shampoo). Things were made even more lively by a large cargo ship that wanted to cross our path - so we were not only racing through the storm, but also out of the way of a marine juggernaut!
By sunrise, relative calm was restored; a consistent 20 knots of wind and fairly flat sea are allowing us to make good progress as we head along the Papua New Guinea coast.
If an army marches on its stomach, then as we crew,we should be well set for the rest of the day thanks to chocolate cake with custard at lunch time - a welcome
treat from today's 'mothers' Derek and Suzy - thanks guys - even if it wasn't the ice cream sundaes we've been craving in the scorching tropical heat.
The other theme of the day is 'logs' - not the nautical charting variety (or the toilet humour type) but big, floating, chunks of wood which we have seen on a disturbingly regular basis floating past us. Apparently a collision with a big log is best avoided, so we have set up 'log watch' to avoid any disasters.
Right Here, Right Now. Somewhere in the Solomon Sea. 

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