Leg 6 Race 8 Day 13, Sun May 2nd 

Sunday 2nd May
So 10 hours later (plus a few hours break to get a tiny bit of sleep) our new bionic lightweight spinnaker – which was now more fly-weight at the top due to the amount of patching and stitching it had on it – was ready to be packed and flown again. The winds had died right off again overnight and the mid-weight was struggling to stay full. The super sail repair duo had breakfast (to a round of applause from the rest of the crew for resurrecting the spinny) and went to bed. We'd fixed the sail, we'd let the other watch worry about trying to fly it in an ever decreasing wind! By midday it was roasting hot – again. Very little breeze but the bionic sail was indeed up and flying and still intact so all our labours across the night before were not in vain. Overnight we'd maintained our status quo with Singapore (it would be all too easy to let them creep back up on us again) and we're still focussed on reeling in California and also Cape Breton Island who were not much more further in front. However the theme of today’s battle was obviously going to be who can fight their way out of a wind-hole first. According the sheds we were all stuck in a big high pressure which had zip-all wind. We were in for a very hot, very frustrating day. Justin's brief to us when we took over the watch at lunchtime was “Don't worry about the course – as long as we stay south of east – just keep the boat moving”. A simple task but still much easier said than done when there really is naff-all wind. We spent the afternoon trying everything – varying course, trim, moving the pole forwards and backwards – the pole end down, just to try and get the spinnaker flying. At times we managed to get going at up to 5 knots of boat speed but we spent equal time sitting back in the Naughty Club of 000 Boat speed! Singapore have been on the horizon behind us all day – like us struggling to get any kind of momentum going and judging by the scheds the leaders have been hit equally badly too. Everyone on board is trying to find their own way of dealing with the heat. Some try and find a bit of shade on deck, blot out the tortuous flogging of the mainsail and escape into the pages of a book. Others sleep and those that can't sleep in their own bunk because it's too hot, beg to hot bunk into someone else who might be positioned nearer an open hatch and therefore benefit from a tiny breath of breeze. Other than resorting to flip-flops (the deck is hot enough to seriously burn your feet) I'm as happy as Larry in bikini top and shorts and am one of the few who are happy to concentrate through the heat on trying to get the boat moving and keep her moving. After fighting so hard for 3 days to over take Singapore, after slaving all night to get our light-weight kite repaired so we can keep flying it, I'm not prepared to let us slip back a position or miss the opportunity to catch another yacht just because it's too hot to do anything. It's Parsons versus the wind.
The wind had better watch out!
My reward as dusk fell was an acrobatic display from some very friendly dolphin visitors and a half-way decent night sky with plenty of stars. A continued distinct lack of wind however sent me to my bunk with a fixed jaw and a determination to be up in a few hours ready for Round 2!