7th September 2017

Things are starting to get quite tough out at sea. The heat is stifling (imagine the Northern Line at 8am on a Monday morning in a mid July London heat wave), people aren’t sleeping and as a result are all getting a little irritable. Not a good mix! I think we are over the halfway mark which is in many ways a brilliant achievement but it also means that we still have a couple of weeks to go. And I think they are going to be tough. We have to keep remembering we are in a really good position in the fleet, but we really need to keep it up!

Today (Wednesday) is the first day I have felt a bit low and a bit rubbish to be honest. I think there are a few contributing factors – the heat and not sleeping properly, being in close confines with people and not really having any of my own space (even in my bunk people are walking past doing jobs all the time, people talking to you when you are reading etc, there is nowhere to get away!) I am considering tying myself to the bow sprit at the front of the boat and staying there for a couple of days. I wonder if anyone will notice! The food is getting me down as well – I don’t think it is very popular with quite a few people and comments are starting to come out. Fair enough and to be honest no-one has been unkind at all, I don’t like some of it either but there is nothing really that I can do about it here in the middle of the ocean! We have run out of fresh fruit and veg now and are onto the tins with a vengeance which is good for the weight onboard, but not so good for the mental state of mind! There are only so many custard creams you can consume in one day. I am also concerned about how thin some people are looking. Thank goodness for the endless amount of bread and cake mix! I have got quite a lot of inspiration for the next leg though so hopefully the process will just keep being refined and I will crack it. Eventually. Anyway, I must keep calm and carry on, this is only a minor blip!

There has been lots of talk recently about how this voyage would make an excellent Reality TV programme. 20 people who don’t know each other, on a 70′ sailing boat, in the middle of an ocean, in 30+ degrees heat for 6 continuous weeks. Throw in some very challenging weather conditions, seasickness, no sleep, things going wrong, no fresh food (now), no alcohol and not a lot of treats (well no takeaway pizzas and ice cream, there are still plenty of biscuits!) and Big Brother/I’m a Celebrity…eat your heart out! Except that we’re not being paid to do it (quite the opposite) and we can’t just get off whenever we feel like it (it’s a long swim to land). It doesn’t really sound very appealing when you write it down like that! I think it would be TV Gold though – move over Love Island!!

We are now in the doldrums and are motoring for the next 60 hours or 360 miles, whichever comes first. Unfortunately we seem to still have a little bit of wind still so I’m not sure if we made the right decision to motor so soon, but as with everything, it’s always a gamble! Yesterday was spent getting the boat ship shape – deep clean, restowing kit for our upwind passage to Uruguay, and washing! I filled up a dry bag with washing liquid, clothes and water and then did a spin cycle. I stood on deck spinning the dry bag round my head. It didn’t go as well as I had hoped though because now all my clothes smell like the smelly socks I washed them with….

On another note, I have just heard someone shout out of the hatch to someone else “I’ve just found your toenail”. Oh the joys of ocean racing….

Until next time, aurevoir!