Hotter and slower

We’re still running downwind, the sea is still blue, the sky mostly blue too. But it’s a lot hotter, and a lot slower, as each day goes by. Today the wind got so light we had the windseeker up several times. ANd then we had it down, and the A1 up instead, several times as well. Wooling and packing is a familiar torture in these sweltering conditions – at least it’s not squally – yet!
We have finally, after only six legs, 7 months, and ten races, learned to do a spinnaker peel – where the new one goes up before the old ones come down. Very satisfying when it goes well. That we are bothering to peel just shows how close the racing is now, especially in these light conditions. We’ve had THe CHicken – Pulteney – in sight on the horizon most of the day, and late this afternoon we caught sight of another CV even further east – then we gybed, so have probably lost sight of them completely. On wildlife – our booby count increased dramatically towards sunset last night – we must have had about fifty of them soaring around us as we ate our dinner – perhaps that was what attracted them. THis evening there were ten or so boobies, and a graceful noddy swooping around for a while. There had been a whale sighting yesterday morning – raising his tail and spouting dead ahead, so we had to dodge him. And during the night for about 3 hours we had a group of acrobatic underwter dolphins, with the mst amazing streaking and spiralling phosphorescent torpedo trails. I think they were the lissome, dorsal finless ones again – I certainly never say a fin break the surface.
It was a gorgeous night – billions of stars, and a few shooting stars bright enough to leave trails behind them. We have Mars, fiery colored, overhead in the evening, and Venus astonishingly bright in the mornings. Today’s sunset – no green flash – produced almost lurid pinks and blues across the whole sky. THe cloud cover has increased, so I’m not sure how many stars we’ll get to enjoy tonight. At least it is blissfully cool up there now.

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