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Crew member on GBR9350T CV1 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital

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31st Aug ~ Day 9

It's a strange and wonderful thing that adults like playing games way past their childhood; flying kites, playing make believe, hide and seek, sardines, dressing up. All of these were evident on our watch yesterday. The spinnaker was the first to elicit oohs and ahs of childish wonder as we burled along with our kite flying full in the Irish breeze, perfect harmony between wind and sail, each teasing the other into playful submission.

By the time our watch came up on deck, however, the wind had almost died and we had to content ourselves with a lingering look at the Black Rock as we inched our way past it. Frustration turned to alarm at the start of the evening watch; not only had we failed to pass it, we were now drifting helplessly towards it as tide and wind (or the lack of it) were both against us. We tried offering a 20 cent piece to Neptune, but it sent him into a windless sulk. As the moon rose yellow behind the rock, silhouetting its black outline in a menacing glow, it was time for the imagination to run riot. Pirates lived there, even the Lorelei were waiting to lure us to certain doom. so we whistled down the wind, sang sweary songs to show our contempt of the enemy, squeezed like sardines onto the guard rail to adjust the balance of the boat and played hide and seek with the host of stars in the sky as they darted behind clouds and out again.

Well, something must have worked the wind slowly came to its senses and we cleared the rock, the pirates and the Lorelei to our delight and weary relief. All good fun, though it wouldn't make us go any faster. But then neither would the sight of and eminent Australian radiologist, helming our boat to within an inch of perfection and dressed, for reasons nobody quite understood, as a Smurf with dreadlocks

Today we mean serious business once again. The wind's up; there's a race to be run and it's not over yet.

Margot Rawson

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