Leg 5, Race 7 – Day 12, 13th March

Yesterday evening was a sombre affair. Brendan did very well to settle us down, congratulate us on our handling of the situation and lay out the plan for a steady next couple of days. I'd volunteered to do another mother-watch with Albert as the galley needed a thorough sort out after the rough weather had played havoc with everything. The day passed in a haze of food, tea and tears as the adrenaline from the previous 36 hours wore off and exhaustion set-in.  Our dear Skipper had been the life-force behind our campaign, our boat and our team and we all agreed that the race for us just wouldn't and couldn't be the same without him. I was also concerned about the length of journey he still had to go until he reached hospital and so the day was a waiting game, played anxiously until news of his arrival came. The incident hit people in different ways. Those that had been on the boat for less time felt less affected by Piers's absence and therefore their energy levels were higher. Instead, the frustration of the race interruption was felt more keenly. Brendan – presumably in agreement with the race office was taking us back into the race but at a very steady pace – ensuring that both the Hull & Humber Crew and the Australian crew had time to adapt to their very different but also similar situations. Both having lost a skipper and gained a new skipper but under circumstances that were worlds apart. The physical and emotional stress of the last 36 hours could be seen on most of our faces and weary bodies. The day passed in a gloomy haze but with the familiarity of our routine it passed nonetheless and we were soon a day nearer to California and would soon be back to normal. As normal as we could be.