Leg 5, Race 7 Day 16, 17th March
St Patrick's Day

Kevlar arrived in the saloon this morning dressed from head to foot in Green, sporting an Irish Leprechaun hat and a big grin. Today is St Patrick's Day and yacht race or not – we're going to mark it! He made a speech in Irish and then dangled the promise of some goodies for us all later – sent from the Cork crew to help us all celebrate with him. We also got an email back from Piers – who sounds in fine form – and is lapping up the attention from the Japanese nurses! He says he's still hoping to be back with us by Jamaica and if not by then hopefully by Cape Breton. As an optimist I'm hanging on to that hope! The wind is still good and steady and we are making good progress. The occasional wave comes over the deck keeping us nicely wet which is frustrating having managed to get just about everything dry yesterday – ho hum!

At 4pm, true to his promise, Kevlar came out with a big bowl of sweets and chocs, some Irish temporary tattoos, and balloons and confetti party poppers. Irish music was found on an iPod, the stereo cranked up and a mini-party followed playing ad-hoc volley-ball with the balloons while guzzling chocs that we'd not seen for ages and trying with varied success to apply the tattoos on our faces! The icing on the cake was that 2 cans of beer were found, so we all had just enough in the bottom of a mug to toast St Patrick and also the Cork Crew for supplying us with the party! It was also watch–change-over this evening, so there were 4 poor people who were trying to get some kip in the fore-peak while our little (and not too quiet) celebration took place. The stereo stayed on and a call for the Disney favourites came. We sang along with gusto knowing that if Piers was here his voice would be the loudest voice of all!