Leg 3 - Day 14 - 14th December

Night watch gave us some great sailing again. The stars were out in full glory although only for a couple of hours as by 4am it was getting pretty light.  We had to relearn how to do everything at an angle again and I was thrilled at the appearance of not only Wilfred but also Walter, who I hadn't seen for a few days.

I now officially have the boat cold. It's been doing the rounds and in some very serious cases has turned into man-flu, however I just have a scratchy throat and an increasing attack of the Sneezles  (I wondered if they would turn into meazles or thseazels!).  Getting drenched on the bow just before lunch didn't help.  Arthur and I went up to first adjust the tack on the Yankee 2 and then tack on the 3.  This time yesterday we had the donkey on with flat seas and clear sunny skies.  Now we are hooning along at 12 knots in big seas with a grey, foreboding blanket of cloud smothering the sun. What a difference a day makes!

Early evening a small carol concert provided by myself and Albert (with the occasional humming accompaniment from Arthur), consisting of the first verses – of all the carols we knew and judging by the amount of 'dum-de-dahing', many we didn't, kept us all (me and Albert) entertained – and reminded us that Christmas was just around the corner.  Or to be more precise – on bearing of 98° - if we could just get there in time!
As we sang a new Albatross made an appearance.  He looked more mature than the others and very Wilbur-ish. So Wilbur is what I called him! He obviously wanted to join in the Christmas spirit too and glided around close to the boat for some time – undoubtedly to listen to our carols which went some way to cheering up an otherwise grey, wet and windy evening.

Later on my other 3 boys all came around and hovered overhead – as we were now heading out of the Southern Ocean it almost felt as if they had come to say goodbye. I wondered if I would ever see them again and felt very sad to see them fly off into the dramatic sunset.