Sunday 18th October   - Dolphins & Dickens

Today was a catch-up day – which now seems to be part of my Sunday routine... although I think any routine is more by accident as you do tend to lose track of which day of the week it is. So I caught up on my blog, caught up on some washing and then gave myself time off to catch-up on my reading.  Reading for me is a luxury which in my old life I rarely afforded time for.  Even in my new life here on board I still struggle to allow myself time to sit and relax...but I'm practising hard and it's getting easier!
At the moment I'm reading a book called Sea Change – written by Ian Dickens - great, great grandson of Charles and who also now happens to be the Communications and Marketing Manager for Clipper Ventures.  However this book tells the tale of his year off adventure back in 2000 when he also ditched the job and the rat-race and took part in the 2000/1 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.  Although the route in his race was very different and the yachts were a bit smaller (in fact they are the yachts we all did our part A training on) his experiences are all very similar and it's been interesting - and pretty emotional - to read someone else’s thoughts and feelings about this same intense experience. As part of my media role on board I've been getting some of the crews thoughts and feelings on the leg so far – has it lived up to their expectations and what they are most looking forward to or dreading about the legs to come.  Most people said that the sailing has been disappointing (too light winds) and that they are both looking forward to, and dreading at the same time, the sailing around Qingdao.  Having reached that part in Ian's book today, I read out a passage which describes the sailing (stormy, wet, gale force and generally very scary conditions) he experienced on the seas around Qingdao.  I hadn't gone far before there were screams of “Stop!  We really don't want to know!” howling at me from all quarters!  Suddenly the light winds and heat doesn't seem so bad after all!

We were visited by yet another pod of about 10 Atlantic Spotted Dolphins today. This time it was in broad daylight and we all 'oohed and aahed' like kids as we watched them swim and dive around the bow of the yacht. They really seemed to revel in the attention and the joy their visit brought and they played alongside us for about 10 minutes before heading off to charm elsewhere.

Our attention is now turning to Rio and we started to talk about which days off we could have, how much work there was to do on the boat and mainly speculating about whether or not there would be a cold beer waiting for us when we arrived. Hmmmmm....Beer.........!