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Crew member on GBR9350T CV1 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital

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29th Aug - Day 7, RBIR on Edinburgh Clipper

It's been all go on Edinburgh Inspiring Capital. There's been barely time for a cup of tea on the last few watches and we've had a wide range of wind conditions. Yesterday afternoon we had very little wind - we tried the light weight kite, the wind seeker went up and down twice and we eventually went back to the number 1 Yankee but our boat speed was frustratingly slow. After coming back on watch at 8pm however the wind was building. We had just a short time before we had to put in a reef and change to the number 2 Yankee. Conditions were becoming gradually more difficult and squally. With gusts of 30 knots we put a second reef in and dropped the Yankee sailing with just a staysail but were still able to make good speeds. After being thrown around in off watch and having had very little sleep we awoke at 4am to a slight ease in the wind. We had a treat in store with the magical sight of St Kilda at daybreak which made our hard work worthwhile. Dirk our first mate found it particularly emotional as he had always wanted to visit and dive there as his father and brothers had done. When the sun rose behind the island Dirk said it was as if God was shining on St Kilda.

Today has continued to be eventful. I am on mother watch and was in the galley when the spinnaker pole dropped at the bow end on to the deck. I had a moment of panic as I had taken charge of poling out the head sail earlier. However, it was nothing to do with me and just caused by a broken strop. Nobody was hurt and the other pole was put quickly back up.

Skipper Jim with his intrepid team of first mate Jimbo and Andy braved the blocked heads at lunch hour - not a job I would have wanted so they were rewarded with a double helping of crusty bread and soup.

It is strange being on Edinburgh Inspiring Capital after sailing on Cork for the first three legs of the last clipper race. I think even though the clipper boats are identical they have their own quirks and personalities. Different skippers also have their own individual ways of doing things which I have found interesting and all good in helping me to learn. You don't just learn about sailing at sea- I have also been given various pearls of wisdom to take back to my day job as a GP - On Cork I was given some 'medical' treatments which, whilst entertaining, I think my patients would be rather shocked if I were to pass them on! On this race Margot has given me a very good cure for foot cramp. If you twist your top lip it will disappear! Whilst I expect there are no research papers on the subject it has been tried with success by two members of the crew! It is amazing the things you discover at sea!

I must now leave you to go back to my mother watch duties- dinner is chicken tikka masala, poppadoms, rice and naan bread. Before I go I must not forget to wish my Step-father a very happy 70th birthday,

We will keep chasing Hull and Humber.

Caroline Aylott

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