A splashy night last night but we topped it off with an amazing sunrise. I was in a bit of a daze as the sun came up so when I saw a fin off the stern of the boat I wasn’t sure if I was hallucinating. I kept watching and then I saw it again. It started popping up a lot before ‘gasp’ it surfaced and we saw a 2ft dorsal fin – it was massive! I think it might have been a shark, but the water was dark and it was hard to see. At least it gave us something to talk about.
Yesterday was a 70 mile day and that is a very good distance for 24 hours, among our best. The boat seems to be doing particularly well in the rougher weather. The bad news is that the conditions have dropped significantly this morning and I reckon that we have lost a knot of speed. Never mind - the sun is out! Jenks chose to make the most of the weather and put in a naked row – amusingly he managed to be hit by the only wave of the day. As a result he is now covered in sea-salt and now has to spend the rest of the day dealing with all the horrible scratchy dry feeling until he can clean it all off.
I had an interview with BBC Wiltshire this morning and received a fairly comprehensive grilling but it was great fun. I also learnt the surprise news of our latest twitter supporter. Believe it or not, we have the endorsement of Gladiator’s famous lead actor, Mr Russell Crowe.
Today is a no snack pack day - another consequence of capsizing was the loss of our waterproof food bag. The remaining stock is also getting dodgy. In one you will have a disappointing selection such as two tubes of jam and a fruit tube, in another it’s all Biltong and snickers bars – the best you could wish for.
Wildlife and things
On the 6- 8pm shift last night Scott was feeling a bit groggy and then suddenly felt a smack on the back of his head. Originally he thought that he had fallen asleep and banged his head but it turned out that he had been smashed by a flying fish. The beast was unconscious on the deck (the fish, not Scott!) and we chose to redeploy it as bait on our fishing line but to no avail. To help Scotty get over it I have him some fruit pastilles and a pat on the back. All of this was followed by a beard rub which seemed to get him back on track. Out bird watching is limited to Terence the Tern. He caught a fish the other day which was fab. Otherwise it is pretty desolate.
Our counterparts - Atlantic Polo
The Polo boys and us attempted to organise a laser party last night. Jenks spoke to them on the sat-phone and said that they sounded a bit drained. We tried to cheer things up with our laser party - we have a laser pointer with a range of about 20km which is designed for warning ships – anyway, when it came to the crunch we couldn’t see anything. The Polo boys don’t have a proper working water-maker and they have battery problems. Respect to them as they are hand and foot steering all the way. They have no auto-helm at all and in rough seas they need a rower to abandon duties in order to hand steer. I know its grim because we have been doing it too!
It feels like a countdown now. The 900s were horrid, 8 and 7 went quickly. It feels like we are winding down – and getting to the end. In some ways its exciting (family) but I’m also thinking what the hell do I do when I get to the end? Getting back to normality is not that appealing! The overriding feeling is excitement about seeing friends and families, eating bacon and egg sandwiches, having fresh food, a salad and a shower. We have so many people to thank but I want to mention Dad today because the seat that he adapted for me has been outstanding. When I hear the stories from Neil Heritage, my predecessor in the 2011 race I am all the more grateful that we have had a solid reliable bit of kit. It makes all the difference to have a supportive family AND a supportive seat!