Leg 4 Race 6, Day 4 - 5th February

Sleep did come last night despite the heat and before I knew it Tom, our watch leader was at the side of my bunk to nudge me into life and remind me I had 15 minutes to get myself on deck.

I had been vaguely aware of a tack during the night… aware enough to reach out and ease the tilt cord on my bunk so I was horizontal again, without fully waking up and also aware of sails being moved around in the forepeak I'm guessing at about 6am, but as I woke up with a sudden jolt I must have been in a deep old sleep. My first challenge of the morning is to wriggle into my shorts and t-shirt, waft a cleansing wipe over my face (having first uncovered the pack from the depths of my dry-bag) sort my hair out (pig-tails today) a quick pee (hoping there's no queue for the girls heads), life-jacket on and straight on deck putting in my order for tea and Branflakes with the mothers as I pass by the galley. I reckon that is just about do-able in 15 minutes – allowing me 3 – 5 minutes to lie in my bunk and think about getting up but not allowing for queuing for the heads. Doing all that and making it on deck without already sweating profusely (sorry that should say 'glowing' – ladies don't sweat do they?!) is at the moment pretty impossible.

It wouldn't have mattered if I had managed it, as no sooner had my bottom touched the deck than a call to move the sails from low to high side came! At least we were well practised at it now and we reasoned that a little light sail wrestling before breakfast was good to help work up an appetite! Either way the end result would be that the boat goes faster and we are hot and er, glowing!

Once on deck we were not pleased with our co-watch as they appeared to have let Cape Breton creep in front of us! I'm still trying to decide if having them in our sights is better for motivation than it is bad for morale and the fact that we can't seem to shake them! I think it probably IS a good thing to keep us working hard but don't mind admitting I won't be disappointed to “adios” them!

We've had a mixture of wind today, sometimes light but it's been building throughout the afternoon. It is shifting about though and we are having to play the angles to keep to our planned route. On the whole it's switched into the east which is working in our favour and according to our afternoon scheds we are still in first place and have taken miles from everyone except the Singapore boat.  Seeing those stats is great for morale and we all feel that our efforts are finally starting to reap some benefit.

We've had to tack to avoid a squall and have been keeping an eye on others in the vicinity, tracking them on radar. It's a reminder that we have stormier conditions ahead of us and while the heat may make life below decks difficult, life in stormy conditions can seem much worse. The winds have picked up again this afternoon - we've had some patches of 20 and 21 knots which is good for speed but makes moving around much harder – particularly for the 'mothers' in the galley. I mention this as I'm on mother watch tomorrow and expect to be needing lots of sympathy!