Leg 4 Race 5 - 16th January

Today is Jo's Birthday and as Albert and I appear to be chief B'day organisers, that's what we did – we organised. As I was on the opposite watch from Jo, it was down to me to bake the Birthday cake while she was sleeping and Mike B heroically blew up some modelling balloons that didn't want to be blown up and stuck up some Happy Birthday Banners that didn't want to stick! Piers had predicted the same pattern of overnight squalls again but despite the fact that the wind picked up and we were fair bouncing along, (that old familiar slamming noise - that sounded as though the boat would break into two - was back with us again), for the first time in days the rain held off and T-shirt and shorts were all that was required on deck.
I'm starting to worry about reaching port and having to be civilised again. I haven't worn anything on my feet for over a week now and it's going to come as a real shock to both them and me when I have to put shoes or sailing boots back on!
Today was a normal day on the ocean – or the South China Sea to be more accurate! Umba was heeled on starboard tack so hard that the port rail often disappeared into the waves and the ladies heads stopped working altogether! Things happened as normal though – Jo celebrated her Birthday with my  'almost level' chocolate cake, (thanks to my ingenious stacking of empty baking tins in the oven, under the shelf to counteract our jaunty angle), the mothers mothered, the engineers engineered, and the rest of us steered the boat in turn trying to find the optimum wind angle to get to our next port of call asap. The usual banter flowed but there was no getting away from the fact that we are all just a bit flat, all just feeling a tiny bit robbed of yet another race and while looking forward to the niceties of port, such as a clean bed, a fresh shower, clean bodies, hair and clothes, we all really just wanted to be off on Umba and on with the racing again