Monday 2nd  Race 3 Day 7

We're still first this morning but Singapore have caught up four miles as have Team Finland.  It's all quite close with about 24 hours to the scoring gate.  We're still moving well and are all effectively on the same course as everyone else  (heading due east) so we should be able to get to the gate first.  We know that anything can happen though so the tension is high.
Our Albatrosses are still here – along with other small unidentifiable birds. The largest Albatross – who we're assuming is 'Dad' is absolutely massive. He soars much closer to us than the others and we spend far too long trying to take pictures and video – without too much success.  We've named him Bert and on every watch-change we always have a 'Bert update'.  He never seems to be too far away. We spend the rest of the morning making strops – hoops of spectra rope that have to be threaded back through themselves to make them strong – a task obviously invented as some kind of cruel torture for sailors who have misbehaved. I decide they are so called because it's impossible to make one without throwing at least 3 major strops! I hate to be beaten by anything though and when several others gave up on theirs, I threatened myself with 'no lunch' until I'd cracked it.  Needless to say the smell of pesto pasta rising up from the galley did the trick and my “strop” was made just in time to free my hands for my bowl!
All day we concentrate on the goal of the scoring gate. We even have a sweepstake to guess the time of crossing it. I guessed at 8.37am. We are confident - while trying not to count our chickens... or should that be albatrosses?!