So now that things have calmed down a little bit – we’re sailing downwind with the spinnaker up and our beautiful anti wrap net, I have had the chance to actually chat to my new crew members, have a wash, change my socks etc. It’s the little things that make a world of difference.

I had a great chat with Hugh Bevan earlier and he really reminded me why I’m doing this crazy race. We were talking about different personalities and backgrounds and he said “That’s the thing with sailing, it doesn’t matter about the past and future, you’ve got to focus on the present”. And that is so true. If I take myself 48 hours ago all I could focus on was putting one foot in front of the other, one arm after another into a soaking wet jacket and force feeding myself water and crackers (I love crackers!) to make sure I had consumed something. Throughout all this, it doesn’t matter what our backgrounds, occupations, ages or sexes are, we are all in this crazy situation together. And we are all working as part of a team to get each other through it. It is only after you come out those horrible conditions that you realise how much everyone else was struggling as well – it wasn’t just you. I sent an email to Lady Catherine (Leg 1 – Bedroom Oympics gold medalist) saying “please send a helicopter” (she didn’t) and now I know that if that helicopter had turned up and had enough space it would have taken a lot of us off the boat!

In other news, we really nearly hit a whale. It was about 8am yesterday, a bit misty and not too rough, we spotted one whale off our starboard bow a good distance away…ahh we all thought. Then suddenly Tim yelled “whale dead ahead” and a massive whale was right in front of us. Now I am quite used to swerving for pigeons or deer, not a bloody whale! We turned the boat as quickly as we could, but had a spinnaker up so had to be careful of that. I have to say that my heart was thumping, it was really quite scary, but fortunately it also turned in the opposite direction right at the last minute so I think it was playing chicken with us. It then swam past our starboard side, probably about 2 metres from the boat. In hindsight it was one of the most amazing experiences, I can’t really explain, but at the time it was very stressful! I am very annoyed I didn’t get it on camera which I had in my hand at the time, but panic took over!

The final thing to discuss today is smells on the boat. Milney and I have just had an extensive chat about smells. This started when Johannes came to take the helm and smelt of fresh washing. Lovely. Our favourite smells on the boat are bacon, bread and mine is antibacterial spray – then at least you know everything has been cleaned! The smell I am struggling the most with at the moment is damp. My foulies stink of damp and mould as they are permanently wet, it is very upsetting, but as I keep reminding myself, I’m not about to go and sit in a meeting room at work in my foulies while everyone around me is freshly laundered so I shouldn’t worry too much about what I smell like!

We are doing lots of sail changes to try and make our GREAT boat go faster, it’s hard work but keeping us warm in these cold conditions down here. Shout out to my girls – just listened to dancing queen while watching the sunrise.

Onwards and upwards, toodle pip xx