Crew member on GBR9793T Cheeki Rafiki
Red watch came on 0600 - 1200hrs
Beautiful morning with the sea now settling down. Wind still in SE 12 - 15 knots.
The tack to the south went in at 0901 to the accompaniment of grumbling from the hecklers in the bunks. Porridge was served as compensation, notably exceeding blue watch standards, if a little moist.
It seems strange to now hear French voices on the VHF after the Irish lilts from County Cork.
Blue watch returned on shift 1200- 1800hrs
The early discussion with Bret on the helm and Gary on the main centred on the timing of moving to the Medium heavy head sail from the nr3 as the wind had been dropping, this was soon put aside as the wind held up in the mid teens. Then the VHF brought a forecast of a force 6 for later pm, from the SE. The swell appears to steadily build once more..
A large group of at least a dozen dolphins now accompanied us once more..
The wind has moved 10 degrees to the south from SE. This creates a discussion on bringing the next tack in early and at 1400hrs we tack to the east. This is rewarded with a cog of around 100 - 110 deg. This is muck better than we were achieving earlier with VMGs exceeding 5 knots.
Our projected time to Bishops Rock is now looking much better. At 1515 hours we are 32miles to the Scilly's and planning the route beyond. At this rate we may make Bishops Rock with the tide in our favour.
The race boat 'Puma Logic' has finally appeared on our port beam around 1600hrs. This seems an amazing feat by them, and cannot be explained simply by their technically faster boat. They have recovered a huge 22 hours following their stop for repairs in Great Yarmouth at the very early stage of the race.
This is the first race boat we have seen since we were in the oil and gas fields off the east coast. That seems so long ago. The guy's here I have spoken to all expressed admiration for them.
We also made a quick courtesy call to Puma Logic. I made the call and strangely found myself lost for words. I offered a joke that, '...we have been hanging around for them and will do so again in Cowes!...', I do hope this was received in the comradly spirit intended.
This event has certainly stirred a competitive response. Blue watch has just cooked and eaten the fastest bolognese since we left.
Red watch came on 1800 - 2200hrs
With the wind lightening slightly we have changed to the Light nr 1 from the smaller nr 3.
Following further trimming by Gareth we gain a knot of boat speed. Puma Logic continue to pull away from us and weight goes on the rail!
We expect to reach the separation zones off the Isles of Scilly around midnight. The tidal vectors are looking good. The unknown is the wind with a force 6 forecast. This would all help and be far preferable to it going light.
From the bunk it is easy to imagine you can here the dolphins calling to one another. These very sociable creatures may be intrigued that the two boats have chosen to stay apart after such a long chase.
The race goes on with Michael Jackson blaring out 'just beat it!!' ...... brilliant!
The sun sets with Nick at the helm, John, Martin and Steven in the cockpit. Gareth is planning his recovery.
We determine to speed up.
Ken Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device