Night watches are becoming something I look forward to at the moment. The searing heat of the day which reduces me to little greasy spots (very glamorous I can assure you!), retreats at night leaving us all in pleasant balmy temperatures wearing shorts and t-shirt and admiring the beautiful starlit sky. Just last night there were dolphins playing along the bow of the boat. First you hear the spouting and splashing then when you focus on the water you can see them gliding through, their grey bodies and phosphorescence giving away their movements. It’s a fabulous experience just to be able to watch them appear and disappear.
Over the past few days the wind is alternatively dying on us and blowing gently at about 6 knots so we are alternating wind seeker and spinnaker on a watchly basis at the moment. In the light airs this is a relatively easy task once you have worked out the cat’s cradle of lines. Chasing down every bit of breeze takes a huge amount of concentration and some difficult decisions about when to jibe and whether or not in order to head to the shore in the hope of some land breeze. Last night we had 2 kite drops due to varying wind strength, meaning that we had to spend a considerable length of time sweating down below re-packing them ready for the next hoist. I have to admit to having had enough last night of the heat and the tedious spinnaker packing at 2am, all the while dreaming of a cold shower and a glass of Chablis, however, I just think back to the cold and wet pacific and thank my lucky stars that we are sailing in glorious weather no matter how sweaty.
It was Niamh’s (aka Bernard’s) birthday yesterday. It’s good to have something to celebrate on board and make the day a bit different so we had disco music on deck which the girls of the watch threw their best ‘Dad dancing’ moves at. Bizarrely the boys seemed less keen to join in. Georg on the helm, watched on a little shocked I think, while Shaggy was glad to be in the galley on mother watch. Paul took refuge in the Nav station so that just left Daisy/Triinng to try to keep us all under control. I am sure his highlight was when he was talking us through an evolution (dropping the Stay and Yankee 1 and hoisting the windseeker) and we were gyrating round him laughing and gossiping – you can imagine his delight! I wore my deely boppers and Bernard had Hector, our mascot, pole dancing. Triingg was most definitely not in command of the situation, I’m not sure whether he loved it or was in deep despair as we jived and twisted our way to the foredeck and snake pit to complete the evolution. This is an ocean race though (and we are women so doing two things at once is no problem!) so of course we dropped and hoisted the sails perfectly and in double quick time so that we could get back to the dancing! Lucky Bernard also had us singing her Happy Birthday every hour in the voice of the Dragon transfers we had out on our hands. To top off the party atmosphere we had a wee picnic on deck and a fabulous birthday cake with sparklers and everything :-). A great watch with the ‘Chicks In Charge’.