Leg 3 - Day 13- 13th December

At our AA meting last night JR announced that as he and Mike B would be 'Mother's' today and as it was a Sunday he was declaring an official mothering Sunday and cordially invited us to shower them with cards, flowers and other such gifts! Ordinarily I would have told them to “sod off” but as I was now relieved of my watch-leader status and therefore didn't have to pretend to be a responsible grown-up anymore - I jumped at the chance to show off my skills as a “would-have-been” Blue Peter Presenter. (would-have-been if Jim had Fixed it for Me!) So I collected my newly purchased felt-tip pens and coloured card, (for the making of Christmas cards which I never got round to doing – Sorry Mum!) and proceeded to conjure up a Mother's Day card any six year old would have been proud of, followed ingeniously (well I thought so) by a bouquet of rather exotic looking - if rather roughly coloured in – paper flowers.  Both were lovingly left in the galley for the arrival of our mother's in the morning. That done, and bored by helming under engine power, Albert and I conjured up other essentials to our sailing round the world campaign – such as labelling up the spare switches on the electrical circuit with helpful things like Xmas lights, Coffee maker, Jacuzzi and Electric blanket!  We wondered how long it would be before Piers noticed.  We then set about planning a boat Nativity. It was after all nearly Christmas and no Christmas would really be complete without one.  Having cast Arthur as Baby Jesus and Big Mike Rouse as Mary, complete with beard, we then turned to the bit parts such as the kangaroo and the giraffe – because everyone knows there was a giraffe and kangaroo present at the birth of Christ!  And so one of our less stressful night watches passed, in a flurry of creativity none of which would help us get to Geraldton faster but at least kept us occupied!

The day turned out to be a beautiful, sunny one – it was reminiscent of Leg 1 with people reading on deck and relaxing. It was almost warm enough for shorts and t-shirts – not quite!  I made the most of the relatively calm waters and warmer temps and had my first shower and hair wash of the leg! I used the boys heads which has a cold water shower head in there so took my time to do a proper job. Unfortunately the guys also took the time to do a proper job on me and by the time I came to exit the heads I was faced by a wall constructed of spinnaker bags all tied around the entrance with tethers. Naturally all my protests were captured on camera before the cads relented and eventually let me out!

Early evening the wind picked up unexpectedly – we had thought we'd be riding our little Donkey (our pet name for the engine) all the way to Gerald-le-hem – however after more than a whisper of wind up went the main, the Yankee 1 and the staysail – although during the process we had to take avoiding action of one of my Wandering Albatross who had decided to have a rest in the water immediately in front of the boat! I was touched by Piers' concern for him as he instructed the helm to turn to port to avoid – however not so impressed by the fact he called him Wilfred when it was quite clearly William!
 We all gathered on deck to watch the sunset which Piers promised would produce a green flash.  Apparently some sunsets with the right conditions can produce a green flash.  It happens briefly at the moment the sun finally disappears below the horizon.  The conditions did look promising and as we all gathered on deck expectantly  watching – Piers more expectantly than most as if he delivered he would be 15 pints of beer better off in port – the sun sank, the sky turned a myriad of oranges, flame pinks and there right in the middle if you screwed your eyes up really tightly and used a lot of imagination there may have been the merest hint of green. It certainly wasn't a flash and much to Piers's annoyance, there certainly wasn't enough of anything to warrant 15 pints of beer!  It was a beautiful sunset though and the end to lovely warm drying out day after the wettings we'd had the previous week.