Leg 3 Day 23 - 23rd December

I'm on Mother watch with Brett today – which is bound to be interesting as Brett notoriously hates mother-watch!  I make Bread for Lunch which is baked and out of the oven just in time to be eaten with baked beans and salami – lots of salami as we are now eating up everything we can't take into Australia with us.  Anything not tinned has to be used or slung overboard as the Aussie custom rules are very strict! It's an amazingly bright, sunny day. Good strong winds – big waves – and we are flying along on a reach. It's the best sailing yet and I peer up from my galley prison to gaze longingly at the helm. My pathetic, pleading look works and I'm allowed a half-hour stint on the helm to get the cheesy 'sailor-heaven' grin back on my face!
The downside of the great sailing conditions is that in the galley it's more than a bit lively. The appropriate bracing positions have to be adopted but even after lots of experience at this, spillages still occur.  One such incident happened while I'm in the middle of making chocolate cake for pudding later – a split second after Brett had warned that the milk was looking dangerous – but had done nothing about it! Now nobody likes a smart arse at the best of times but Brett made the mistake of giving me a smug “I told you so” look, while I still had a bowl of chocolate cake mix in front of me!  Needless to say a full on Chocolate fight ensued and while I'm confident I came out of it triumphant I'm not so confident the two chocolate hand prints on the front of my t-shirt will ever come out in the wash!

We're now counting down the miles and nailing down the potential hour of arrival – it's looking like 2 to 3 am tomorrow morning. But today is about the yacht, the sea and wind and doing what we all signed up to do – sail hard and fast.  It was official adrenaline junkie's day and we all celebrated it with great enthusiasm!

As our arrival to Geraldton gets nearer I get a bit emotional – I'm always like this coming into Port as I don't want the sailing to end, but I get an email from Mum saying she's just read the poem on the Clipper website and is in bits – which gets me going too!
Piers let's me in on a secret that Katy – who we've been trying to get home for Christmas – has a surprise coming.  She has been trying to rebook her flight out on Xmas eve so she can arrive home on Christmas Day.  The travel company have been mucking her about – but the reason is that her Mum and sister are flying out to meet her when we arrive in Geraldton.  Piers has to let me know so that I can be poised to film her reaction.  It's a massive secret to keep locked up and I am so thrilled for her – I can't wait to see her face when she sees them!

Our final AA meting of the leg is as it's getting dark – we all sum up what the race has meant for us and the poems, emails, secrets and the not-wanting it all to end has me in tears – again!  Piers makes a mental note to ship in a container of tissues for the race end in Hull – and possibly be on stand-by to raise a flood alert. A couple of the guys joke that perhaps I am now a permanent fixture with the boat and wherever she goes I have to go too – I think that sounds like a pretty great idea!