Leg 5, Race 7 – Day 14, 15th March

Didn't sleep again but nonetheless felt much more rested today. The temperature has dropped again – we're back into needing mittens on deck and the layer I had stripped out of my sleeping bag was hastily restored. I've been taking most of my off-watch opportunities to catch up on sleep – or rest at least but am also conscious I'm now way behind on my blog and other jobs are queuing up.

In the afternoon we get an email from Piers which cheered us all up. - He sounds in good spirits. Apparently he's due another operation later this week and then can fly home the following week. He sounded perky and very much like the Piers we all know and love.

Race wise we are back in it. Edinburgh are now 40 miles behind us. Good for us but bad for them. Apparently they have suffered some damage and have a bent spreader. This puts into question the overall strength of their rig so they are having to sail with the minimum sail area up (3 reefs in the main and a stay sail) all the way to San Francisco. It's going to take them a long time to get there and I feel for them. Qingdao are very much in our sights and we all agree we are now ready to start racing hard again. There was initially some confusion regarding our position and whether or not we were expected to just rejoin the race and swallow our loss or if we would be able to apply for redress. We now believe we are entitled to apply for redress – especially as in effect us and SoA are tied together – so if one of us has a problem the other one has to wait – which could and almost certainly will, hamper our progress. However, we all signed up to take part in a Round the World Yacht Race – it's what we trained for and have been building up to for well over a year – so we are not going to miss the opportunity to get stuck in and take on the other yachts – whether it will count in the official point scoring or not.

Night watch was bitterly cold – lots of layers, 2 hats and mittens required. The wind eased and we shook out a reef and then spent the rest of the watch debating over whether we needed to put it back in again or not! The wind was gusting up into the 30s but only for short periods and then dying back down again. We held off and Charlie and I whiled away the final half hour singing  'The Bear Necessities' and 'Part of their World' from the Little Mermaid – in honour of Piers.  We laughed ourselves silly when we heard that Tom had stuck his head out from his bunk concerned because he thought he could hear someone crying!!!