Leg 5, Race 7 – Day 3, Thursday 4th March

We had held on to second place all of yesterday right up until the final sched when we then dropped to fourth as Australia and Jamaica snuck past us.

Today my contribution to keeping the boat going fast was to keep the troops fed and watered.  The wind had dropped right down and had spun round behind us, which made the motion of the boat much easier – it also made my bunk far too comfortable and I was loath to leave it and Bertie Bear – my newly purchased mini-hot water bottle with furry bear cover – for the challenges of mother watch. My co-mother today is Tony, who should have been a legger on Cork Clipper this race but has now joined us instead. He has quite a lot of sailing experience already – seemed very on top of everything on race start day – and now looks equally handy in the galley. The bad news for the rest of the crew is that we're supposed to be making cous-cous again for lunch (my last effort was more like modelling material). The good news is that Tony is confident that he can handle Cous-cous any day of the week, so lunch may not be too disastrous after all!

In fairness we had a fairly easy ride in the galley today. The Cous-cous turned out to be just as stodgy as when I made it, so I feel much better about my own efforts and am now trying to persuade the rest of the crew that actually that's how it's supposed to be! I made garlic and herb bread to accompany our seafood pasta for supper (Spaghetti with tins of clam chowder soup and a large amount of tinned tuna added) and Tony whisked up a white chocolate mousse – which we left to set in the fridge (ie on deck) while I prepped fresh orange segments to off-set the richness of the mousse. We kept a steady stream of teas, coffees and hot chocolates coming for the crew who were busy dealing still with changeable conditions and a whole host of Chinese fishing fleet vessels who made no qualms about coming uncomfortably close to us. Poor Piers spent most of the day on the radio talking to one boat or another asking them to give us a wider berth. The temperature went from warmer than expected to cold and then warm again by the evening. After wallowing in 3 knots of wind for most of the day the wind did finally pick up by evening and we were speeding along again in 7 knots of wind with a poled-out headsail and thinking that we were now finally on our way. I had a full night's sleep ahead of me – the reward for doing mother-watch all day and so was quite happy pottering in the galley for a few hours, tidying up and having a tiny bit of “me-time” - something of a rarity on board an Ocean Racing Yacht!