Sprinting

It’s been a glorious day today – sunshine and a nice reaching breeze, the fog broken up into streaks of cloud, and my own personal rainbows in the spray as we surf along.
Last night was another night of sewing – why do we always sew at night, when daytime would be so much easier? Nothing too major – we eventually took the A3 down in the evening after 36 or so hours of splendid sailing (before the wind angle became too tight for the sail). Eric thought he saw some flappy seams during the drop, and I noticed broken stitching on the luff tap, so it seemed like a good idea to inspect the entire sail and make sure it was in a fit state to hoist again when we need it. Luckily there was nothing too bad to fix, and our favorite kite is ready to go again, if only the wind would cooperate.
Eric suggested that us girls (there are only four of us this leg, me, Meg, Maaike, and Heather) should be the ones to inspect and repair the sail. Sounds like traditional gender stereotyping, doesn’t it, the ladies doing the sewing while the men run the boat? But when Eric decided today that none of the helms should be on mother duty during the ocean sprint, it was us 4 females plus Nick and Morgan, the watch leaders, who were excluded from galley duty.
It’s definitely a break with the way we used to do the ocean sprint – on earlier legs we encouraged everybody who wanted to contribute and have a go at the helm. It’s probably partly that there a fewer of us, but also, we do seem to be racing more seriously these days. It’s funny how becoming a ‘winning’ boat changes the culture, and especially the expectations of new people coming aboard. THere are some slightly bitter jokes going around today about platinum tickets, which allow you to helm, and silver ones that only allow you to sit on the rail. It’s a difficult balance – we all want to win but we want everyone to be a valued part of the team too.
It looks like being a clear cold night – a really hope we have stars to help us steer – I’m so tired of the black nights with absolutely no point of reference as we thunder through the dark. We are nearing 900 miles to go – we can almost smell the sourdough bread from here!

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