Race 10 Day 3, Weds May 26th

I'm on mother watch again today and it's another scorcher. Shorts and bikini top are all I can bear to wear and still I'm bathed in sweat all day. Rich, one of the Hull Ambassadors is my co-mother. He can't sleep so gets up early to help with breakfast – a sign of his general willingness to get stuck in and participate in full, which I very much appreciate. The morning passes in a hot haze of tea and coffee making and a frantic search for beans – the key ingredient of lunch (Beans and Bread) which  appeared to be a very illusive ingredient.  Tom was extremely concerned as beans are pretty much his favourite boat meal (always cold though). In the end we pilfered some beans from a different day bag and made cheese sarnies (cheese out of a tin!) to go with them.
As there is very little wind in our sails at the moment, I'm hoping that lunch combined with dinner tonight (Vegetable Thai curry) might help to provide a little home-grown hot air if needed! At least the light winds make mothering much more bearable. We are not hugely heeled over and the boat isn't bouncing up and down. You learn to accept and appreciate small blessings when you get them!

During the day we move into 5th place but can see Cape Breton, once again on the horizon off our starboard side. Qingdao are over that way too – we just can't see them yet.

It's a very frustrating day for the crew on deck.  You can only move at the best pace the wind will allow, and for us this is painfully slow varying between 3 knots and 5 knots of boat speed.  However we are still nibbling miles off some of the other yachts and while we don't improve our position we are making some small gains on some of the other yachts.  During the day and the evening we have two separate incidents – both involving strops (loops of rope that are used to connect the spinnakers to the spinnaker poles). They both “blow out” (break with some force!) and we do quick emergency drops of the spinnaker. The second time this evening, Andy got his leg caught up in the spinnaker sheet as the strop blew. His leg was pulled with force against one of the stanchion posts along the edge of the boat. We thought briefly that we had another Piers broken leg syndrome, but we're now hoping it's just badly bruised.  I pulled his ear to see if it hurt (a Doctor Dudin method of telling if someone is ok or not) it didn't hurt so I believe he'll live!

Mother watch stretches late into the night as we were in the middle of clearing up supper when the last spinnaker incident happened. As soon as you hear a sound like that you know something isn't right and it's now an automatic reaction to reach for your life-jacket, get on deck asap and help sort the boat out. It's always 'the Boat comes First' as far as I'm concerned.

I emailed my boss at work today. Now we are on the last leg, the reality of having to go back to “normal life” is something I'm having to finally face up to.  I'm sure I'll slot straight back into it once home but at the moment the thought of returning to sitting behind a desk is something that feels quite alien to me.  It couldn't be further from my world of emergency spinnaker drops and making Orange cake from a vanilla sponge mix (with no egg or butter) and concentrated Tang (powdered Orange juice drink)!!!