Leg 4, Race 5 - 4th January

If we thought we would have a gentle settle into this race on our first night watch, we were mistaken.  With all the fleet so close and the wind changeable we had almost 6 full hours of constant graft.  We went through 2 sail changes, bagging and packing sails and reefing the main in and out. By the end of the watch we were rigging a spinnaker pole ready for a potential hoist by the other watch at first light.  I was hoping that this would mean after a very long race start day I would sleep like a baby – but with the adrenaline of the watch and excitement of being back at sea, I just couldn't get to sleep and snoozed fitfully for several hours.  This was mainly due to the fact I was holding onto the side of my bunk lockers with one hand so I didn't roll into my lee-cloth.  Which is ridiculous because I've now spent many nights sleeping fully in my lee-cloth so know it will hold me! But first night back on the boat and all of that takes some getting used to again. So 5 hours later  - having slept through my alarm clock and having been missed off the wake-up call list, I have to jump out of my bunk and be on deck ready for the 8am watch start in 10 minutes flat!  Luckily it's just about shorts, t-shirt and light jacket weather which makes getting dressed much quicker and easier!
The morning is busy again with work on the bow rigging the spinny pole and dropping sails. The wind is still lively enough to get you drenched and as I am nominated to talk Mick through the bow routine I choose – in an act of self-preservation - to go and get my Oilies on first. I realised as I carefully did up all of the seals on my jacket to make me water-tight, that I've learned more than I thought so far on this adventure!