White Ocean Racing

May 16 - A peaceful night?

Steve's blog Number 5.

I don't know who it is that keeps turning the wind off at night. You might think that a windless night for sailor would mean a good nights sleep, but the opposite is the case. Light and variable wind makes the nights far from restful as you try and work out what it's going to do and where it's going to blow from next.

If there is such a thing as a bad night out here then I suppose we had it - I keep trading places with Dee, and went from infront of her last night to behind again this morning. I am waiting for a 180 degree wind shift, and when it sorts its itself out then I'll be playing catch-up again.As I write this the wind speed and hence the boat speed goes up and down, and we swerve all over the place like Starsky and Hutch as the wind struggles to stabilise - come on wind, sort it out! On a good note, we have only lost 2 miles on the race leaders overnight,so perhaps they have been struggling too.

I was thinking last night as I briefly got into bed that sailing offshore must be heaven for a small boy - certainly my two smaller sons Isaac and Euan would love it - you don't have to wash, you go to bed when you want or not at all, you can even go to bed with your wellies on and nobody shouts at you, but best of all you can have chocolate pudding whenever you want!

I also thought overnight about the way the race has swept so many people up,not only my immediate friends and family, and those of the other competitors too, but seemingly the whole of the South West - everyone in the area seemed to be aware of it. For example, two of the four big batteries on board were useless, so we talked to Tom from a company called Allbatteries, (they supply batteries for things that you didn't even know had batteries in!) In view of the timescale around our last minute entry, Tom arranged for them to be shipped straight from Exide. Florence there was really helpful, but she couldn't ship in time either, so I was allowed to use Ocean Safety's account with Tuffnells in Ivybridge to get around the problem. By the time everything had been sorted out it was past the 4:30 pm cut off for arranging collection by Tuffnells, but in despair I said to the Anna at Tufnells "I've just bought two batteries now and I can't get them 'till Monday and the boat that they're for goes to America on Sunday" and said no more than that. The response was "Are you one of the Artemis Transat competitors? OK, I'll see what I can do" frantic tapping on a keyboard at the other end - "They will be here in Ivybridge for you to collect on Saturday morning - we have ways of getting round things for special cases" Lots of things were like that, I never had to mention the race, everyone put two and two together and fell over backwards to help which was brilliant. We need more events like this to start or finish in the UK. Special thanks to Anna at Tuffnells, Tom at Allbatteries, Florence at Exide and particularly to Alistair and Ian at Ocean Safety who made a huge effort to supply all of my safety kit in time.

Anyway time for breakfast - porridge again! Let's see what the new day brings.

Michel Desjoyeaux retires.

Foncia (Michel Desjoyeaux) retired from the race after being damaged by a collision with a whale.
Spirit of Weymouth is now 11th out of 12 boats.

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