Dear Dad

I was sitting on deck last night thinking about you as I gazed at the stars. There were several shooting stars which appeared as if by magic, sending good luck around the world.

Did you know that the closer you get to the equator you see a very different aspect of the moon. At home we see the moon in effect cut vertically in half and here it’s a horizontal cut… I bet you did know that! It’s pretty cool to see.

We’ve also gone from flat bottomed, tall clouds that carry wind and rain to big puffy round clouds or high wispy ones. The sunrises and sunsets are beautiful shades of orange and pink.

Last night we recovered a dozen flying fish from the deck and this morning as the sun rose even a few more, mournfully expired. The bizarre thing is that they get you from the high side of the boat. I’m sure they play a game of dare with each other a bit like the madness of human BASE jumping. I have to say that it’s a bit freaky in the pitch black being walloped by one and then hearing the crisp packet flicking and rustling noise the poor creature makes as it hits the deck . We then rummage around with our red light head torches trying to find and rescue the darn thing. Trouble is that sometimes they land in the pockets we have on deck for keeping ropes and sail ties.

We have a couple of young -ish folk on board who insist on chewing gum with their mouth open. Yuk! I asked one of them if they ate their meals open mouthed, to which one of them screwed up their face and pronounced in no uncertain terms that of course they didn’t. I then (couldn’t resist) asked why they chewed gum with their mouth open. I incurred a rather blank look. Made me chuckle. I should ask if they could widen their mouth as they chew so that I can really take the opportunity to appreciate their gum also. Or perhaps their dental work!

Late this morning we should reach the equator. I wonder if there’s an X marks the spot or there’s a red line in the sea with a “welcome to the equator” placard?!? Did you know that someone who hasn’t yet crossed the equator by boat is called a Pollywog and once you cross it you become a shellback – fancy googling that to find out the origins of that terminology?

We’ve been at sea three weeks already with probably another seven days ’til we arrive in Rio. James is there already and met up with our skipper’s husband to enjoy a trip to Sugar Loaf Mountain, followed by a steak and beer! Talk about envious. I’ve been wearing the same clothes for all this time – my hair is now in self-cleaning mode (smelling a little wet sheep like) and thanks to the Clarins products we all smell very pleasant even though you wouldn’t want to queue behind us in the supermarket due to how we look.

Unfortunately the best position in this race we’ll achieve is probably 9th. I think we lost momentum before we even reached the doldrums. However now that 12 of us who continue onto the next leg are quicker at headsail changes and spinnaker hoists/ drops/ wooling and bagging it bodes well for us going forward.

Anyway, I am missing you and hope that you’re following my adventure from the stars.

Loveya xx

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