Friday 5th August

August 6, 2011
Friday 5th August

A slight easing of the winds this morning offered a brief respite during which the sun decided to make a short-lived appearance – along with several more of our very playful dolphin friends. Most of the crew are now over their sea sickness but poor old Roberto struggles on, having not managed to keep food, water or sea-sick pills down for 2 days now. His routine is to move from bunk to saloon to sleep more and then to the heads when necessary. He’s trying to stay cheerful but is clearly frustrated that despite the various remedies he’s tried, nothing seems to be working. I try and reassure him that it WILL pass very soon but I can tell he’s not convinced.
The race is on today to round the headland of Spain, wave goodbye to the Bay of Biscay and make it around Finisterre and the long run into Madeira.  Everyone is hopeful that once running down the Portuguese coast, the conditions will improve, the wind will veer and finally we will have the warm, sunny downwind sailing that everyone was expecting.  The morning race schedule shows New York back in first place but we know that not to be the case as we can see Finland about a mile ahead of us on the horizon.  The race is on to be first to tack around the corner and while battling with Finland, Gold Coast Australia are spotted to our stern, heeling at an angle that says “we’re coming to get you”.

Finland stay in-shore and we tack further out in attempt to round the corner in one but life is sometimes cruel and a wind shift favours not only the Finnish team but also Gold Coast, who spot the shift and see that they can trump us all and make the corner with just one tack.  NY are already committed and can do no more than push and on make the best of it.

By early evening the winds are gusting back up to mid 20’s and pushing 30 knots so New York drop their headsail (which I film while once again trying to hold on for grim death!) and instantly pick up an extra knot of speed.  Living proof that indeed sometimes less is more.  Andrew who has been on motherwatch checks out the weather forecast before he turns in for the night. The promise has always been a wind shift and some downwind sailing but the forecast suggest that it could be a long, slow into the wind all the way to Madeira.  It’s not the news he wanted to hear! To add to the grey mood Rich, the skipper of Gold Coast, calls up on the VHF radio. He’s just overtaken NY and calls up Gareth to say he hopes that he’s just written in the log that NY have “been overtaken by a bunch of Bad Ass Aussies”!
The wind builds and builds again and it’s another bumpy night which offers little sleep to the off watch (and me) while the on-watch play a game of dodge the tankers that are entering and leaving the nearby Traffic Separation Scheme.  Another reef goes in the main and the watch change-overs are sombre as the drenched crew try and get out of their sopping foulies and into their bunks as quickly as possible.

 

Thursday 4th August

August 6, 2011
Thursday 4th August

Biscay rages on today, as does the bout of mal de mare that has hit about 5 of the crew. After a comparatively light start – during which the early on deck crew were escorted along their way by a large pod of dolphins – which I filmed with my new GoPRO and pole toy – even getting some great underwater shots. The wind soon picked back up to a fierce blow and I spent the rest of the morning with more computer work which was extremely trying in the conditions. I started ...
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Wednesday 3rd August

August 6, 2011
Wednesday 3rd August

Well yesterday was more of the same, light winds, spinnaker sailing and a game of cat and mouse with Visit Finland, who through the course of the day overtook within 50 metres of us, then to find themselves behind I Love New York once again.  Having caught up on ingesting and backing up material, I then decided it was time to investigate my GoPro to see what it could do and after reading the manual (well, I AM a girl) spent a frustrating hour with the various brackets I’...
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Tuesday 2nd August

August 5, 2011
Tuesday 2nd August

And we’re off!

We’ll I’m about 40 hours into my second round the world yacht race –
except I’m not going around the world this time, and strictly speaking I’m
not “sailing” either. I’m here to document on video the experiences of
the crew as THEY set off on THEIR adventure. My last race is still oh so
fresh in my mind but despite being back on the Clipper 68 foot yachts that
I know so well, with all their familiar sounds, the grinding of the
winches, the squeaki...

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The Story Continues...

July 17, 2011
Well it's been a while since my last post and a lot has happened in a very short space of time!   Having finished my big sailing adventure almost exactly a year ago it was apparent to me that I couldn't go back to my life as it was before. But necessity meant that I had to, initially at least, with a mortgage to pay not to mention a still substantial overdraft from having a year without work but I knew that I had fundamentally changed and that my life would need to change to suit it. Without ...
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Post Race - 7th April 2001

April 7, 2011

Passing the Baton

It's half past midnight and I've just put a cake in the oven. That might seem a little unusual but it wouldn't be if I were on a 68ft yacht taking part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.  Bread baking – along with cake baking (especially if it was a crew members Birthday the next day) was common place on night watch. Well it was on Hull & Humber anyway.

So I've just got back from Hull Marina – Greenbricks Pub to be exact, where a whole gaggle of people gathered to ...


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Race 13 - Day 3, Sun 11th July

July 14, 2010

I rejoined my watch at 3am this morning and once again positions were changing all the time. The rest of the fleet bunched up again. We were back under white sails and still holding onto first by the skin of our teeth. As the dawn rose and we sailed past Portland Bill and then the friendly training waters of the solent and the Isle of Wight, we spotted Qingdao hoist their spinnaker through the dim light of morning. We followed suit quickly, just managing to hold them off but soon as the sun ...


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Race 13 - Day 2, Sat 10th July

July 14, 2010

Our first night watch last night (11pm – 3 am) was pretty cool. We woke up to find we were ahead of the fleet – just. Actually 'woke up' is untrue as no sleep was had whatsoever. The boat was so heeled over it was hard to haul my bunk up high enough to stop me falling out of it. So I was mainly lying on my lee-cloth and the metal frame at the edge of my bunk. Add to that the frequent bouncing bomb effect – with Umba as the member of  the fictional 633 Squadron every time she took off ov...


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Race 13 - Cork to Ijmuiden, Day 1 Friday 9th July

July 14, 2010

It's now just over a week before we'll be sailing home into Hull, having completed this amazing adventure known as the Clipper round the World Yacht Race and there are certainly mixed feelings floating around inside me. Having thought so much over the last month or so about how I want my life to be from here on in nd the changes I want to make I thought I was past the “dreading it all being over” stage and had moved onto the “it's the next exciting chapter of my life stage”. However...


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Race 12 - Day 10, Mon 28th June

July 5, 2010
We took over again at 3am this morning and within an hour we spotted a white masthead light through the gloom off our port beam. This had to be Qingdao. The fact the the light was white meant we were behind them, but as it gradually became green for longer and longer periods, we knew we were catching them,. WE were now approaching the Fastnet Rock off the coast of Ireland. We had to go between this and the mainland – a gap of only 3miles – so it was inevitable the yachts would funnel toge...
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