Race 10 Day 4, Thurs May 27th

Thursday 27th May

During the night we encountered the most amazing storm. The crew on-deck sat and watched it creep up on us for 3 hours before it finally arrived; the lightning flashing every 10 seconds or so, lighting the sky up like a Friday night disco, giving us just enough warning to drop the spinnaker and get 2 reefs in the main before the 10 knots of wind puffed it's macho chest out to 30.knots. And then came the rain. Big fat, juicy splodges of rain, they quickly morphed into a downpour, that then quickly gushed to a torrent. It was is if the world turned topsy turvy, and the sea was now raining
downwards, with gravity to stop it.  A dramatic night watch – which I slept through like a baby...one of the priveleges of mother-watch!

At breakfast time there was no sign of the previous night's drenching, other than a guard rail full of clothes all pegged out to dry in the increasingly intense heat of the morning. We are 5th in the race which is slightly demoralising, however we can see all four boats that are in front of us, dotted around on the horizon. It's an incentive. A great motivator. They are all there for the taking.  We spend all day trying to chase them down and I spend most of the day peering through the binoculars trying to get a “feel” for which boat is where – identifying the 'enemy'!

Eventually I plump for Qingdao as the nearest, just in front off our starboard bow and Cape Breton further in front of them on the horizon. Across off our starboard beam I'm pretty sure is Edinburgh, but I can't quite make anything out on the boat that appears further east than them.

The scheds come in and confirm my hunches. The good news is that although we are still 5th we have been the fastest boat in the fleet over the last 6 hours and have taken miles out of everyone. The leaders – Cape Breton are now only 5 miles ahead and we are cheered as we know we can sail faster than them – we are still very much in the mix.

My lunchtime treat is engineering duties. There is a considerable amount of water in the bilges which all needs emptying out. As my head  (a la head stand) is pressed against the diesely wetness of the inside of a bilge, legs sticking straight up in the air, I reflect that it seems unfair I get to empty out the water from last nights storm without getting to enjoy the light-show that came with it!