Race 10 Day 8, Mon May 31st

I was up uncharacteristically early for watch this morning, mainly because I hadn't slept at all. Reason 1 is that we had been quite overpowered and were so heeled over I spent the night with my face pressed up against the cold, hard sides of the boat. Reason 2 being that the hatch was open and the kite trimmers situated on deck a few feet away from it. So I was being lullaby-ed to sleep (or NOT, as was the case) by the far from soothing tones of “Grind please” followed by “Grind...Grind, GRIND” normally swiftly followed by a mildly panicked “KITE COLLAPSING” and more “KEEP GRINDING” and then hopefully a less scared “Kite made”. You would just get used to someone's voice when they'd have a swap round on deck, someone else would take up the trim and you'd have to get used to tuning into someone else's voice and fear factor!

By the time we were up on watch the wind angles had changed, the kite was dropped and white sails were up. As we were heading more directly into the wind this meant the breeze factor was up and it was much chillier than recent mornings. I cursed as I'd been hoping to have a snake-pit shower and it now might not be warm enough! I need not have worried as the wind angle changed, the sea state flattened out and we were soon hoisting a spinnaker again – although this time the heavyweight even though I personally thought the winds were light enough for the medium or even the light kite! Apparently we are expecting 20 knots of breeze later though, so I guess the thought is we won't have to spend time peeling to another kite later. The helming with the heavy up (which is a much smaller sail) is much easier so the new crew all were able to take their turns on the helm. I decided to get the sewing kit out and do some mending which was a mistake as I then ended up doing everyone else's mending too! I finally got a chance to take the helm at lunchtime and you then couldn't get the grin off my face. The conditions were perfect. The sun was hot, we had a comfortable breeze and once everyone was up we put some great tunes on the stereo, while I tried to squeeze extra knots out of Umba. I defy anyone to find a better place to be or a better way to pass their time than those few hours. It was perfect!

To top it all later that afternoon – after my snake-pit shower which meant clean hair and a clean & happy me – we saw several small pods of dolphins, a shark within 5 metres of the boat and a whale about 50 metres off our port beam. The day just kept getting better!