Crew member on GBR9357T CV8 Hull & Humber
There's an old saying in Scotland - "If ye dinnae like the weather, mon, then come back again in 10 minutes, and it will ha changed!" - and so it was for Team Hull & Humber today - virtually every imaginable type of weather during the course of 24 hours (OK, so no snow, but it is still August.)
Yesterday afternoon saw us creeping round Sula Sgier in the merest whiff of a breeze, trying in vain to catch John B who had overtaken us earlier in the day. As we rounded this mark and headed for St Kilda's in the early evening the breeze was strengthening steadily.
So it continued in the night, rising to a Force 8 with a close reach as midnight approached. Down with the 1, on with 2, on with a reef, off with 2 and on with 3, on with another reef (I probably got the order a bit wrong, but you get the picture), all the while with starboard watch on the foredeck pitching in a steep Atlantic sea, with loads of cold water (some of it green) giving us a refreshing Jacuzzi. Even Al (he of the Norwegian and Arctic sailing) said he had never been quite so wet before... It was a tired Starboard Watch that tumbled into their bunks at 2, to be relieved by Port Watch to take us on to St Kilda's, then some 30 miles distant. Never a watch to do things by halves, Port Watch not only rounded St Kilda's, but simultaneously passed our arch-nemesis John B.
Today has been spent reaching and running towards Ireland in a big swell and great northerly winds, and most of the day under the kite - first the heavyweight, then the mid-weight. Surfing at up to 15 knots in bright sunshine and short sleeves - amazing! Such herculean efforts need fuelling, and our mothers for today really pushed the boat out with delicious pizzas, some of them so innovative that Flavio insisted there was actually no word in Italian for that particular recipe (a pizza with peas on it?!). As dusk falls, so falls the wind as we continue South into the looming high and the prospect of a somewhat different night to the previous one.
From Hull & Humber, somewhere in the North Atlantic, in the immortal words of Zoe, it's "Over and Out".