Chasing the Albatross

My adventure in search of a bird by David Lawson

  • 0 Update Monday 19th February

    • by David Lawson
    • 19-02-2018

    Well two things are certain today……it is definitely my brother Tim’s birthday and my future grand-daughter is still ‘sleeping in’ and definitely won’t be joining the family just yet! My odds are on a Wednesday birth….’Wednesday’s child has far to go’. Could be a little sailor girl hiding in there yet!! Here’s hoping…. Today Qingdao slipped out of stealth mode and…….ooooh 2nd! So that leaves PSP in 1st place. This is going to be nail biting. As I write the ‘Mighty PSP’ are 20 miles ahead of Qingdao and importantly 51 miles ahead of Sanya Serenity Coast. With this race finishing in Sanya the Sanya boat is going to be giving it everything they can. Sleep will be cancelled, the adrenaline will be flowing, caffeine will be on a drip and they will be pushing hard with their skipper Wendy Tuck strapped in to the helm and all eyes will be on the forward horizon. With the wind due to ease off over the next 24 hours PSP will have half an eye on those coming up behind them. Unfortunately we’ve been here before but surely the Wind Gods aren’t going to deny us a first 1st?? I must admit this is stressful sitting on the sidelines and watching the little red tadpole on the race viewer and especially when you know what it will be like to be on our boat and the expectation and hope everyone will be experiencing. Come on team PSP….this is your time. Bring it home baby! Well I’m off to say a little prayer…..well a very big one actually. Oh and to help the stress…. a glass of red wine….well a very big one actually. Cheers….. Just in case you aren’t aware I’m using the story of chasing my Albatross to raise some money for my chosen charity, the National Kidney Federation. My eldest daughter and Mum to be, Rebecca, has suffered with long term kidney problems and now manages her life with only one kidney. To all those who have donated, my sincere thanks. Your donation will help to make a real difference in the fight against kidney disease:

  • 0 Update Sunday 18th February

    • by David Lawson
    • 18-02-2018

    So tomorrow is my youngest brother’s birthday….happy birthday Tim. My eldest daughter is still expecting her first born. She was due last Thursday but the baby has obviously decided the weather is a little too cold in Sheffield to come out to meet her parents. Beccy and Seamus are enjoying quiet times and undisturbed sleep. As the Depeche Mode song goes…. ‘Enjoy the Silence’…..because it’s all going to change soon. There were concerns this week that the PSP boat was on a collision course with Taiwan. We did wonder if a diversion for some cheap electrical goods was on the cards but a recent left hand turn has given us confirmation that they are still in the race. The race viewer had a few problems this week with miles to destination not being correctly reported. This seems to have been ironed out and PSP are still in the running for a strong finish.  They are currently showing in first place but with Qingdao in ‘stealth mode’ it’s not clear who is really in pole position. I suspect Qingdao still are but we’ll know soon enough. There are currently 5 boats within 100 miles of each other and with the right wind and timings on making gybes to enable them to sail directly into Sanya it is still anyones race. 100 miles can disappear in the blink of an eye in this sport. Given that the fleet have been sailing for 19+ days now it’s amazing how close most of them are to each other. On board the crews will definitely be focussed on the job in hand but they’ll also be playing the ‘when I get into port, I’m going to have…..’ game. I remember on the last Leg it was a fresh orange juice and cappuccino for me. I think once that first beer was passed to me when we docked those thoughts evaporated, probably to be replaced by more alcohol. Ah the joys of ocean racing and a dry boat! I’ve been reading several of the Skipper’s blogs this week. Some are short and to the point. Some are written in a hurry but I am slightly hooked on reading David Hartshorn’s reports aboard Great Britain. This week he posed a question……”if there was a song that summed up the theme or precised your life, what would it be?” Now we’ve had lots of fun with this as a family over this weekend. For most people it’s about finding a song that they think sums up somebody else and there have been lots of suggestions flying about. Give it a go, it’s great fun. And as for the song I think best sums up my life……well perhaps I’ll leave that to you. Enjoy your musings…………

  • 0 Update Sunday 11th February

    • by David Lawson
    • 11-02-2018

      Matt sharing tactics on the boat. Note how the hull has become a white board Today dawned bright and sunny here in Ross on Wye although the Brecon Beacons were hidden by cloud and from what I could see here it looked very wet over the Welsh Mountains. Andie and I decided that it would be great for me to revisit the water and so a 6 mile walk along the banks of the Wye was the order of the day. Not quite the Southern Ocean but it felt Southern Ocean cold today. Thank goodness for 5 layers! Well PSP have been in ‘stealth mode’ for 24 hours and it was great to see them come out in 1st place. Skipper Matt and the team had obviously made a decision to make a tactical direction call and to keep this secret from the rest of the fleet. PSP, the red tadpole just below Guam, after time in stealth mode Looking at the race viewer all the yachts look very close together and one of the key decisions when going into stealth mode is to ensure the opposition can’t see you, either visually or on the onboard AIS identification system. If you’re not hidden then the other skippers will make the obvious declaration “but we can see you” and there is no hiding and stealth mode becomes immaterial. The fleet does appear to have split into two now groups and the more northerly boats have benefitted from a ‘wind push’ to open up a gap on the 2nd half of the fleet. It’s amazing how quickly you can open up a 200 mile gap on other boats. If you can average 10 knots of boat speed when others are only managing 5 knots then within one day you can put quite a bit of distance between yourself and the rest of the fleet. PSP are past masters at this and when we hit the wind holes on the 3rd Leg a few days out of Fremantle and on the 4th Leg outside of Hobart we just sat and watched the miles we had worked so hard to put between us and the rest of the fleet evaporate. So as quickly as you can gain it, distance can also slip away but perhaps PSP have enough experience of this now to make a difference. We’ll see. It’s interesting to see that this time Visit Seattle have taken a closer line to the rhumb line. Will this be a costly navigational error. Only time will tell. It’s all starting to get interesting now. With the boats having crossed the equator the teams will be heading back towards winter in the northern hemisphere. Whilst they’ll still be enjoying some warmer weather those layers will be increasing as they head north, but it’ll be some time before they are back to my 5 layers today. But the one big advantage I have here is the ability to drop into a pub after our walk for a well earned pint…….cheers! Don’t forget, I’m using my story to raise some money for my chosen charity. To all those who have donated, my sincere thanks. Your donation will help to make a real difference in the fight against kidney disease: Check out the Winter and Spring editions of the Kidney Life magazine where the story of my adventure has been published: Enjoy!

  • 0 Update Wednesday 31st January

    • by David Lawson
    • 06-02-2018

    Well I feel that I’m well and truly back at work now. Myself and Andie and Kay, who has been valiantly looking after my business whilst I’ve been away, all sat down for a business planning meeting yesterday. There is a lot of regulatory change going on and so there are some key alterations I will need to make now I’m home. Also I need to send some money to the taxman today….always a delight. The Southern Ocean suddenly appears to have been a long time ago! So Leg 5 has had a very slow start and the last thing everyone would have wanted is a wind hole. But PSP are wind hole specialists now and I know Matt and the team will have been making use of every sail to try to capture the smallest of breezes. The sail of choice will have been a Windseeker which is a light sail and has more chance of catching the slightest of breezes. Sailing in these conditions is an art and you’re constantly looking to see what the other boats are doing. As all the boats will have been in close proximity spotting someone with some wind when you haven’t got it will have been excruciating. Out in the ocean you can see about 10 miles or so to the horizon and as the boats get going it’s surprising how quickly everyone disappears from view. Then it’s a case of checking the positioning systems in the Nav Station to see where the others are but after a while the electronic systems also lose their ‘sight’ capability and it’s down to the Clipper Race HQ updates. Now there is some breeze and PSP are making better progress and more importantly no-one managed to catch a wind shift out of the wind hole to make any significant break away. So that’s a good start and what’s even better is that PSP don’t seem to be making any significant course shift away from the rhumb line (the shortest route between the departure and arrival destinations). Could this be a new tactic Matt and Trevor will employ for this race? Who knows but it’s going to be interesting to see how the tactics play out. Matt and Trevor, one of the Coxswains and number 2 on the boat, will normally determine the tactics and route for the race. This changes as the race progresses and Matt has a regular ‘happy hour’ meeting between watch changes at lunch time where he shares with the whole boat what is going on i.e. future weather, positions of the fleet, tactics etc. It’s an opportunity for all the crew to ask questions and bring up any matters they want to discuss. The race standings show Sanya taking a early lead, so no change there. Whilst all the boats came out of the same moulds when they were built, some are obviously faster/lighter than others. The Sanya boat could benefit from being lighter than others and I’m sure the PSP boat is too, given that we’ve always sailed further than the other boats yet have been constantly vying for the top positions. It’s an interesting thought. Alternatively, we could be just a great sailing unit and the weight makes no difference….I quite like that it sounds much more professional….and means we’re more skilled…ha ha! Well I’ll be keeping a close watch on the tadpoles as Andie refers to them and I’m quite enjoying this speculative role…..but for now it’s back to work…, sell……is the kettle on??

  • 0 Update Tuesday 6th February

    • by David Lawson
    • 06-02-2018

    So it has been nearly a week since my last update….and what a week it has been. Last Wednesday I got out of my chair in the office and as I was doing so I  twisted my body slightly. My body obviously wasn’t expecting this slight of movement and my back went into spasm. As a result I could hardly move for the remainder of last week although it did start to settle down over the weekend. Thank goodness for Voltarol 12 hour pain relief gel and ‘the joy of movement’. Now I’m really confused by this. 3 months on a boat, hauling sails up and down, and all the physical aspects of a sailing yacht……no problem. Get home to work. Get out of chair. Back in agony. How on earth does that work? Bizarre! On a completely different note England Rugby had a great result on Sunday. Is this an omen for PSP? (there’s no link here…but it would be great to thinK PSP could do as well on this Leg and so far it’s all looking very good). After a to and fro with Sanya it was great to see PSP leading after successfully negotiating the Doldrums Corridor. Now with a free reign to settle their course direction towards China it will be interesting to see if Matt determines to go it alone again. As I write the boat is on a heading of 4 degrees; so very nearly heading due north. Santa are heading 24 degrees further west and more therefore closer to the rhumb line and Seattle are heading even further west on a course of 328 degrees, 36 degrees further west than PSP. It looks as though its all about chasing the weather again as there is a low pressure system forming to the north of the fleet and my guess is that Matt will try and stay away from the eye of this where the winds will be lightest or even non-existent and he’ll be looking to get a push if he can from the stronger winds at the edge of the system. We’ll know soon enough if this works out. With life on lean again the crew will be finding things hard work and Matt openly admitted yesterday how hard it is to do anything when the boat is heeled over in strong winds. I was explaining this to my Mum. If the boat is fairly flat it only takes a few seconds to move from one side of the galley to the other. However, when the boat is heeled over then the first thing I’d have to do is psych myself up if I wanted to undertake a move to the other side. There is a rope from one side of the galley to the other and I’d literally have to haul myself ‘uphill’ to get to the other side. It’s all very wearing and you really do have to make a positive decision to make such a small journey. Getting around our kitchen at home is a positive joy in comparison and especially as the fridge is stocked with wine and the cupboards have lots of other treats in them. Can somebody remind me why I’m going back for Leg 8???? Frustratingly I see that PSP are without communications again for the rest of this Leg. I had terrible problems with my emails on Leg 3 and I felt even more alone on the ocean when I couldn’t be in contact with Andie. Fortunately Daren came up trumps and allowed me to use his email allowance to stay in touch with home. What a star! It’s those little things that can make such a difference to morale on the boat. We take the ability to be in touch with loved ones as a given on land and out in the wide expanse of the ocean this simple pleasure of being able to keep in touch with home can make all the difference when you feel so far away and alone in the world. I know the guys and gals on board will be feeling a bit down with this but I also know they’ll be able to dig deep and because they are all in the same boat, so as to speak, they’ll find a way to rise above this. Sending positive thoughts from the comfort of my comfy chair with a gin and tonic in hand. Cheers!

  • 0 Update Monday 29th January

    • by David Lawson
    • 29-01-2018

    Well the first part of my sailing adventure has now come to an end and I’ve been released from the ‘Clipper bubble’. I left The Whitsundays on Friday 19th January and after a boat ride and 3 flights I arrived back in the UK on Saturday 20th. The obvious question is was it hard to leave it all behind and the simple answer for me is no it wasn’t. My original plan had always been to do two Legs, namely Legs 3 and 4, and I had always been comfortable with that and it was exactly the right way for me to approach my adventure. The second Leg really helped me to consolidate on the experiences of the first Leg and build on these to get the most out of my experience. I always knew that I’d be coming home after the Whitsundays and it has turned out to be the right decision for me. Whilst I take my hat off to anyone who is doing the whole circumnavigation I know I couldn’t do it. I think it takes a special kind of determination to see out the 11 months the whole trip takes and it doesn’t have that pull for me and to be fair ocean racing is a hard thing to do. It’s very demanding and very tiring and pulls on a lot of reserves both mentally and physically. Plus, and this is a very big plus, my eldest daughter Rebecca will be having her first child in February, my first grandchild, and I have two businesses to run and whilst I feel very privileged to have had this opportunity and the special support of my wife, my family, my friends and my clients I actually want to be home now and get back to my life at home and my work. I’m lucky in that I have Leg 8 to look forward to in June/July but for now it’s back to the ‘real world’ as Andie would say. So what now? Well I thought it would be useful to use the practical experience I have gained and the insights I’ve had to continue my blog from the comfort of my armchair with a glass of wine or two to savour whilst I speculate about what is going on on the water for the crew facing the challenge of Leg 5 from The Whitsundays to Sanya and ultimately Quingdao where Leg 5 finishes. Today the crews have made their final preparations and joined the boats for a taster race just off the coast to determine the start order for the beginning of the next Leg tomorrow. Getting ready to join the boat normally starts a few days ahead of race start day. I would normally take my kit down to the boat over 2 days, just to make the bags more manageable to carry. The first thing you want to know when getting onto the boat is where you’ll be sleeping, who you’ll be sharing a bunk with and which cubby you can put all your kit in. The bunks are allocated by Clive who acts as Team Coordinator. It’s always good to buy him a pint or two at stopovers! On my races I was fortunate to have a bunk to myself although from time to time because of illness I did share with others. On the boat the Skipper has his own bunk for the duration of the whole race. He’s situated on the starboard side at the stern by the navigation station. The Watch Leaders share a bunk on the opposite side to Matt and next to the navigation station. The Coxwains, Trevor and Stian, are just ahead of the Skipper on the starboard side and for the rest of the crew it’s a matter of allocation by Clive. Sharing a bunk means that you have to roll your sleeping bag up after your sleep ready for your bunk buddy to use. All your kit needs putting away in the cubby allocated to you. You very soon get used to being organised as it’s a real pain having to search around for kit. All my stuff was in dry bags which had been labelled up so I knew what was where. But even with the best of planning some stuff inevitably goes missing. Having said that I only lost one pair of glasses in my 3 months on board. Quite an achievement for me! The other challenge is inevitably water and some of the cubby lockers do get water in them and your stuff has a little swim. My credit cards went swimming for 2 days on Leg 3 but I did manage to dry them out and they still worked when we arrived in Australia. Result! The only way to deal with this is to have enough dry bags to store kit in and to bail the lockers out regularly. There’s nothing much more that can be done. So with kit on the boat and with bunks allocated it’s now a matter of working our which Watch you’re on and who your Mother buddy will be. There are 2 Watches (port and starboard)  and this is the team of people you’ll be working with during your on watch. For Leg 3 I was on Starboard Watch and on Leg 4 I was on Port Watch. These are the people you’ll get to know best on the boat because you’ll spend so much time with them. You’ll learn their strengths, their weaknesses, their little foibles, their habits, their likes, their dislikes and what makes then tick. For anyone interested in human nature then the boat environment is a great source of material. You could easily write a comprehensive PHD paper if you wanted to as there is so much material to observe and gather on the boat. It’s a real microcosm of human life and all of human life is here. It’s fascinating! Once all these things are done it’s a case of focussing on the race ahead. For the new ‘Leggers’ it’s a case of slotting in, finding your place in the team and finding your rhythm on the boat. For the ‘Worlders’ it’s a case of helping the newbies to settle in and getting your focus back, after the break, for the Leg ahead and another new start. ‘Leggers’ will be nervous and anxious to start with as they focus on trying to remember what to do and how to do it and they’ll be keen to get stuck in. I remember it well. All the doubts come at once and then once you’re out on the water it suddenly all comes back together and suddenly you’re off and running, well not literally, and your adventure has begun and it’s all ahead of you. Great! So now as the boats motor towards the Race Start point just beyond the Great Barrier Reef the new team on PSP will be getting to know each other and the gelling process, away from the ‘normal bubble’ of life, will commence as they immerse themselves in their new ‘Clipper bubble’. Race start will be at 2am UK time, noon in Australia. Whilst it is taking some time to get back into my own rhythm now I’m back home I’m not sure I’ll be setting my alarm clock for 2am. But my thoughts and hopes will be with all aboard PSP and I wish them fair winds and a safe passage for the race ahead…….and of course I really do hope they can achieve a win on the back of their good results over the last few Legs. Time will tell but for now there is no harm in dreaming! Charitable donations You may recall that I am using this opportunity to raise some funds for charity. See the following link on who I’m supporting and how to donate: Thank you for your support.

  • 0 Update Tuesday 16th January

    • by David Lawson
    • 16-01-2018

      Sunrise with Liverpool on the horizon When I went to bed last night we had Liverpool and Sanya both ahead of us. Now it’s 4am and we have Liverpool behind us and Sanya off our port bow. The guys on the previous watch have done a great job in keeping up the pace.   As the dawn breaks we are treated to a lovely sunrise. The islands just off the coast are visible through a murky light.   We are still flying our smallest spinnaker and there’s some discussion as to whether we should have a bigger kite flying and with this in mind we bring our code 2 sail onto the deck. Sanya seem to be flying a bigger spinnaker but they don’t seem to be able to control it too well.   As the morning progresses Matt appears on deck. We’re leaving the small spinnaker flying and now Sanya decide to make a spinnaker change. Later I will find out that Sanya thought we were flying a larger spinnaker and decided to make a change to match our sail plan.   We can see Seattle ahead of us and we’ve reduced the gap from 5.5 miles to 4.5. Could we catch them in time if we can keep the pace up??   As the morning progresses it’s evident that we can’t close the gap on Seattle although we’re putting more and more distance between us and Sanya.   As we close in on Airlie Beach we’re all on deck either allocated to a role to keep the boat sailing fast or sitting on the high side.   There’s lots of wind as we make a final turn towards the finish line and it’s going to be a podium finish for PSP after all…….2nd is our final placing.   Well what an achievement. We’re all delighted and it’s congratulations all round. After a great race start we chose to head out into the ocean to hopefully catch some current to help push us northwards. With wind on our nose most of the way and an elusive chase for the favoured current we went from top of the rankings to the bottom fairly quickly. But with perseverance and clean sailing and a final wind push from behind we once again proved just how fast our boat is. She’s certainly the fastest in the fleet and we’re definitely sailing more miles than any other boat in the race. Somewhere in there if we can get the right mix of speed and route then there will be no stopping us. We’re climbing the  leader board and who knows where this could all end when PSP finally arrive in Liverpool in  July.   Personally, I think we’re in with a good shout to win the 2017/18 race! But for now it’s beer time…….cheers!     Another picture of me with a beer….oh and a coke this time too!

  • 0 Update Monday 15th January

    • by David Lawson
    • 15-01-2018

      Well finally it looks like the end of this leg and part 1 of Chasing the Albatross is in sight. We should be in tomorrow now as the wind has finally backed to give us a push. Last night we hit the eye of the storm and then the wind got up as the front passed over us from 8 knots or so the suddenly 45. Lightening all around but mainly sheet lightening. It went on for hours but when we came off after 4am it was settled. So very exciting, exhilarating and……wet!!! Got swamped on the bow several times and whilst the sea was warm the rain was cold! Have a spinnaker up today and with good winds at 18- 25 knots we are having a final opportunity to surf the waves. It really is the most exhilarating thing about sailing and it puts the biggest smile on our faces. The boat is sailing flatter now so it’s much easier down below although the heat is a challenge. As a special treat to combat the heat we’ve had ice pops for the last 2 days. Imagine looking forward to that in January!!!! Taste like nectar. Well this morning I managed my first injury. We needed to drop a head sail as one of the sheets (ropes attached to the sail) had become tangled and couldn’t be pulled out from the deck. Several of us went forward and I went to the bow. The swell was quite strong and so the boat was rises on the waves and falling into the troughs behind. I had wedged myself into the pulpit area when Mike suddenly called for me to get down. Unfortunately there was no where for me to go so it was just a case of holding on. As we hit the bottom of the trough I was thrown forward and bashed my head into the metal forestay which holds the sails on. I caught my left cheek and forehead very hard. Fortunately no serious harm was done and I only suffered a mark on my cheek. Everyone thought I’d be more bruised by the incident and had it been 2 inches to the left then the impact would probably have reshaped my nose. So a lucky escape for which I’m very grateful. On the race front we have Liverpool and Sanya in visual sight just ahead of us. We’re stalking them down and it’s likely to be a drag race to the end now. The next 24 hrs are going to be a bit tense especially for those watching on the viewer. All to play for so could be an interesting night ahead. I dont think skipper Matt is going to be getting much sleep. We’ve got our eyes on sundowners tomorrow eve if we can keep the pace up!! The PSP night stalkers are back on the prowl tonight for a final push!

  • 0 Update Sunday 14th January

    • by David Lawson
    • 14-01-2018

      Today I thought to give an insight into how food is going on the boat. We were expecting to be in Airlie by now and whilst we haven’t run out of food we are down to the last few day bags and are using up spares as creatively as possible. Lunches are particularly creative opportunities for our Mother Watch. Yesterday it was a choice of hot baked beans, cold baked beans or a mix of the two with frankfurter sausage and ryvita. Today it was surprise coronation chicken. Potato salad, mixed with boiled egg and curry powder. The surprise was the chicken….which came first the chicken or the egg? It’s an interesting debate and you could argue we did effectively have chicken. There is no squash left on board so it’s a choice of desalinated sea water only unless someone wants to slave over a hot kettle! Not ideal in a hot galley. Fortunately I bought some Gatorade mix in Hobart to make up some juice from. Last night’s meal was Jasmine rice with mixed veg (tinned) and fruit and nut mix. It doesn’t sound great but worked out quite well. Tonight’s meal is butternut squash chilli with Jasmine rice and mixed veg (tinned). All the fresh veg and fruit is gone now. Breakfast is essentially weetabix now. We’ve been carrying enough around the world so far to feed a small army. To make it palatable Jonathan smothers his in nutella before adding milk….very strange! For treats we’re down to some very strange looking marshmallows. I’m looking at one now. Cylindrical in shape with layers of white, pink, blue and yellow. The special ingredient in them is humectant which I’ve never heard of. There’s probably more nutrition in the plastic bag they are wrapped in! We’ve had several flying fish land in the boat at night but because they smell so much no one has felt the need to keep them to eat. We have managed to throw them back in the water but a few crew are squeamish when they start flapping as they pick them up. In respect of clothes I’ve just had to break into my reserve clothes for when we arrive in Airlie. I was drying my shorts on one of the grinders earlier just to have something dry to wear. I’ve given up on socks as my boots are so wet. Fortunately trench foot hasn’t set in just yet. On the race front we have Liverpool and Sanya in visual sight just ahead of us. We’re stalking them down and it’s likely to be a drag race to the end now. The next 24 hrs are going to be a bit tense especially for those watching on the viewer. All to play for so could be an interesting night ahead. I dont think skipper Matt is going to be getting much sleep. Mike Duffy and I have just shot up on deck to see if we could spot the elusive green flash as the sun dips below the horizon. Apparently it’s a real phenomenon but unfortunately the sun dipped into a murky greyish horizon just before it set. So no green flash but a grey one in its place. Ah well, a bit of fun if nothing else.

  • 0 Update Friday 12th January

    • by David Lawson
    • 13-01-2018

      Oh I love Friday’s and especially Friday evening’s. After work, D and I would stroll into town and have a few drinks, pick up a takeaway then wrap up warm for the walk back. At home the log fire has been warming the house nicely….and the film is ready to watch! Funnily enough I haven’t done that for nearly 3 months now….and although very simple,…it’s our switch off from work…and switch on to our weekend. I have missed our normality…and so he has he. 8 days to go before my red tadpole is home!! “So yesterday was mother duty. Just finished the breakfast run now and cleared all that up. Cereal and pancakes with nutella or honey, teas and coffees for the crew today. Always a winner and starts everyone off well for the day. Was off duty after tea last night but stayed up on top for an extra shift until midnight. Too hot below to sleep anyway! A beautiful balmy night. Shorts and shirt only weather. If only nights were like this back home! Well I achieved a new personal best on the helm last night…….0! We had 2 knots of wind so we were bobbing along with our favourite friend, the wind hole! 0.5knots going forward and 1 knot of current against us. Net result was 4 miles forward in 4 hours and 1 mile back. Cracker!!!! Bed at midnight then felt the wind fill in at 5.30am so got up in case the team needed a hand with any sail changes. Had our first (!!!!!!!!) sunrise on this leg today. Now we’re moving forward at last but with current against us we’re making slower progress than we’d like……ho hum! Whilst I was making breakfast Bernie had his music playlist going on deck. Gerry Rafferty and Baker Street at 6.30am. The crew laughing and joking together. A great moment and one of those special Clipper memories to keep.