Crew member on GBR1429L British Soldier
DAY 11 - FRI 3 SEP 10 - 2100 HRS
The beating(s) continue! Having rounded Bishop's Rock and the Isles of Scilly to a stunning daybreak, the wind, relentless in its quest to remain in the east and head us at every opportunity, has done just that. So more beating in store for BS and her crew, with our eyes glued to the wind instruments to pick up the faintest sign of a shift that may benefit us in any way. Today has been immensely tactical, with many an hour spent pouring over the weather GRIB files and the tidal atlases. For us it's worked quite well as we rounded the Lizard with a favourable push before heading deep into Plymouth Bay in order to counter the fairer tides. We hope to do the same for Start Point later on tomorrow morning and then Lyme Bay, before making the final tidal gate of Portland Bill on Sat afternoon.
Life aboard BS remains decidedly (ab)normal. Relations between the two watches has changed from a distinctly cordial, to quiet resentment and now to near open hostility. Teas and coffees are regularly spiked with unpleasantries, oilskin trousers/jackets are routinely ransomed 5 mins before the unfortunate victim is due on deck, whilst the harshest trick of all was to rouse the off watch, prepare them for a move to the high side yawning and clutching sleeping bags, only to have been subjected to a 'bluff' tack. The on watch laughter went on annoyingly so for a good 3 hours. Suffice to say they weren't caught out again. The 1st Mate (now nicknamed 'Barnacle Paul' or 'Crustacean Paul' (depending on your Watch) steadfastly refuses to get involved in inter-Watch politics, other than to grumble and groan which sets minds worrying. He's definitely not been the same since the coffee ran out. Indeed, most things are beginning to run out. In those early days when it looked like we were going to be round in 3ish days, ration bags Days 14 and backwards were confidently dipped into. 1st Mate put a stop to the looting when a member of Port was caught clutching a 9 pack of Kit Kats from Day 8 (and this was on Day 3!).
At 1600 hrs we had clocked 2000 miles on the log, although we have a suspicion that the log over reads on starboard, so how accurate that figure is remains to be seen. However, it won't be far off. This race has been a bit of an (enjoyable) slog. With the exception of the run down to Dover when it was too breezy to hold the kite, we've calculated that we've only flown the kite for approx 8 hours - saving us a fortune in sail loft repairs! The rest of the race has been white sail reaching or close hauled with more to follow.
That's all from me. Off to find my clearly marked sleeping bag ("Neither Port nor Starboard").