If the back half of the fleet has been imprisoned by an expansive bubble of light and shifty winds, we need to be thankful for our beautiful jail cell. It's got fresh air, sunshine, plenty of time for exercise and my one even has John Butler on in the background!
Don't get me wrong, my competitor's heart yearns for the thrashing the boys are getting at the front but the sailors proverb "you can't change the wind but you can adjust the trim of your sails" has never been more true. Last night was dark and moonless, Orion's belt shone brightly overhead and Sirius burned in the east but I had eyes only for one bright speck on the horizon, Stephane's navigation lights. The shifty winds kept me busy by constantly adjusting the trim on the Code 0 (the biggest flat upwind sail I have, the same one I started the race with if you want to check the photos from Nov 6) but progress was hindered by the constant rolling motion of the boat on the long ocean swell that literally shakes the wind from the sails!
We might not be going 20 knots like the others but we're certainly enjoying our slow motion battle even if it feels like we are sailing through treacle. It has been a bitter pill to swallow watching the guys run up from behind but I have benefitted from the compression to get closer to Louis and Arnaud so we'll now enter the next phase of the race with a big group that will have a battle royale in the Indian Ocean and beyond. Until then I will climb the mast to replace crucial lashings, check over the boat and be ready for when we can run instead of just crawling along.