Wednesday 3rd August

Well yesterday was more of the same, light winds, spinnaker sailing and a game of cat and mouse with Visit Finland, who through the course of the day overtook within 50 metres of us, then to find themselves behind I Love New York once again.  Having caught up on ingesting and backing up material, I then decided it was time to investigate my GoPro to see what it could do and after reading the manual (well, I AM a girl) spent a frustrating hour with the various brackets I’d been given trying to fix it to the pole, also duly supplied.  After a series of curses and some hair pulling, I eventually managed to stop it spinning wildly around the pole with the help of some strategically placed Gaffer.  So on to the deck I scurried to see what shots I could get.  As it was in an underwater housing I figured I should try that out, so dipped in said camera over the side and took some very clear footage of a nice bit of weed around the boat rudder and prop. Gareth the skipper was not amused…at the weed that is, not at me taking video of it.

My host boat is still in first place but there is not much at all between the first 8 boats – less than 25 miles separating them, so it’s still very much anyone’s game.  Dolphins came for a visit this morning and the GoPro was put to good use getting some underwater shots as well as close-ups water level. – Just as well I had that practice yesterday.  Our friendly marine chums also seemed to bring the wind with them and over the course of the day the wind and waves built, the first sail change in feisty conditions was performed and finally the Bay of Biscay started to live up to its name.

The old familiar heel to the boat was back – along with the occasionalslam that sounded like the boat was going to break apart and several people started to look a bit green around the gills.  I tried out my underwater housing with the camera in it on deck and was not impressed. You can’t see either the viewfinder or the screen well at all, so it’s a question of sticking it into full auto, pointing in roughly the right direction and hoping for the best. Meanwhile I’m hoping I won’t need to use it very often!  Still it was good to find that out early on.

Sue who had been one of the motherwatch pair finally couldn’t take the motion combined with the smell of meatballs, and was the first to take to the bucket. Several others followed suit and soon the saloon was full of bodies who had abandoned trying to make it back to their bunk with some not even having the energy or will power to take off their foulies (wet weather gear).  I eventually took to my bunk around 11pm to then lie there listening to the banging and crashing, groaning when the still inexperienced helms steered too close to the wind and ended up accidentally tacking or stalling the boat.  I ended up watching for windshifts and lying muttering in my bunk that we “really should be tacking now”!  I’m finding this whole observing rather than sailing malarkey much harder on the soul than I had imagined. Eventually I got to sleep about 6am when I should really have been getting up!