Race 12 - Day 4, Tue June 22nd 

Today is pretty well a repeat performance of yesterday (without the toilet drama!). The fog rolled in with the morning light and once again we were playing the 'guess what's more than 50 metres in front of us' game.  Last night we were flying headsails and still zooming along at 11, 12 and 13 knots. We're now back in contention with the other boats with Australia showing as 1 mile ahead in the scheds. We are pretty level with California, Jamaica and Qingdao. If it wasn't for the fog, I'm sure I'd be peering at them all through binoculars. At the end of our night watch we caught the edge of a squall, and although we were well prepared for dropping sails and reefing in the main, all we got was an awful lot of rain – our first and I'm sure not the last of this race!

Mid-morning we decided to push a bit harder and hoist our heavyweight spinnaker. The conditions are borderline but if we want to win we have to push the boat as hard as we can. Umba coped brilliantly and the helming was not too taxing at all but the waves occasionally threw a googly in from the side and had everyone hanging on for dear life! One wave did just that as Mel was trying to put another turn on the spinnaker sheet winch. The upshot was that the sheet pulled loose and the spinny was out and flying free in the wind. A quick recovery was made without having to drop the sail so no harm done but the rate at which the sheet whipped across the boat was a very timely reminder to all how important it is to make sure we all stand clear of lines like that. There is so much load on them in feisty conditions, that broken arms and legs or worse are not infeasible if caught in the way of one.

Our morning watch turned very wet once again and we rotated round half the watch on deck and half below, for an hour at a time. You never really dried in between but it was at least marginally warmer – although seeing your breath in the air as you speak makes that hard to believe!

We did pass one big landmark this morning. We crossed the point on the chart where those of us that have been on board since Hull have circumnavigated the globe. We haven’t' crossed over our outward track yet – that is called tying the knot and when we truly can say we've joined up a complete circuit of the world. However today we can say we've finally sailed across every degree of longtitude – which does make us now Round the World Sailors!  We celebrated in the best way I know – by cracking open a big bar of Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut – donated to the crew by Dan, from our Sponsors Yorkshire Forward. Thanks Dan – much appreciated!