Happy Birthday Neil

Today is the birthday of my husband, Neil. who has been quietly supportive through this whole adventure, and (purportedly) has even learned to cook while I’ve been away. Happy Birthday Neil! And Thankyou! (We’re getting close to home now – it might be time to start clearing up those pizza boxes!)
As we plunge along under reefed sails and grey rainy sky, with the barometer still dropping and a big blow forecast when the cold front comes through, I think of a lazy Sunday morning with nothing to do but enjoy hot coffee, toast and marmalade, while listening to NPR. I hope that’s what you are doing at home.
It also happens to be ‘half way’ day here on Henri Lloyd, AND we expect to cross back into the Western Hemisphere later tonight, so technically tomorrow will also be Neil’s birthday, a groundhog day for us. It’s grey and wet now, grey as far as the eye can see, as advertised for this leg. But we still have handsome Laysan albatrosses to admire at regular intervals, and with my new Kokatat lightweight drysuit under my foulies, I’m keeping warm ond only very slightly damp round the edges. We’ve had relatively calm times under white sails since the scoring gate, time to rebuild our strength for the next push or storm or whatever. We DID have a bit of a struggle reefing the main last night, as the wind built up to gale force. A sail tie attached to one of the reef cringle pulldowns kept wrapping itself hopelessly round the rigging, preventing us from lowering the main halyard – and from raising it fully back up, too. But James freed it with some good climbing and tugging – cheers all around and problem solved.

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