Race 10 Day 6, Sat May 29th

Today's been a bit of a write off. I appear to have picked up a stomach bug from somewhere – God knows where and have been unable to hold anything down – not even water for nearly 24 hours. Sleep seems to be the only solution and I've been doing lots of it, despite the pick up in the wind, despite the jaunty angle of the boat and the occasional slamming which is magnified when you sleep right in the fore-peak. We've been keeping up great speeds since mid morning, when a squall approached and then sat right on us for a good couple of hours. It wasn't a biggy but sudden gusts from 12 knots to 19 had the spinnaker pole bending in the force of the swell, so we were forced to drop the heavyweight and go back to white sails. It made no difference as the speed has been just as good. Our afternoon scheds however show mixed results. Some small gains on a couple of the leaders but also some of the chasing pack are now catching us.

The atmosphere is very different from the last race. We had quite a large crew changeover in Jamaica and it always takes a while for the new team dynamic to settle in. There are no issues and everyone gets on ok, but the new guys need to find their feet and the team as a whole needs to find it's new rhythm. It's different every leg. That's just the way it is.

We crossed the scoring gate at 1535 local time. We know we won't have gained any points but it's another stage of the race to tick off. Apparently we have also just left the Bermuda Triangle. We entered it a couple of days ago and I didn't feel a thing! I'm not sure therefore, how we are supposed to know when we've left it. Also – if we crossed the scoring gate within the triangle – will anyone know we've crossed it? Or perhaps in the whole mysterious goings on we'll come out and find we crossed it in first place after all (ok, now I'm clutching at straws). But assuming we have entered and left the infamous area safely, and assuming that we are not in fact sailing in some kind of parallel universe, we think we're now less than 600 miles to race finish in New York. If the winds stay strong like this (unlikely) we'll do it in 3 days but it'll probably take 4, parallel universe permitting!

It's Brett's Birthday today (whichever time continuum we're in) but he doesn't want any fuss. We've got a card – which we'll slip onto his bunk at some point and most of us have wished him many happy returns in a quiet way. It was pesto pasta for lunch but Brett is 'meat man' so Albert dug out a tin of corned beef especially for him and as a treat he had Birthday Corned Beef Sarnies for lunch! I think his best gift today is the lively sailing conditions. He gets frustrated in light winds and only the other day was wishing he was back in the Pacific. We sent him to the bow to check sail trim and he got several 'birthday dowsings' by the sea. It surely must be the sailing equivalent of the bumps! His grin said it all!