Towards the finish

In true team HL style, once we are through the sprint, instead of kicking back and congratulating ourselves, we just go right on sprinting towards the finish. It might not have looked like that on the tracker, as the wind dropped right away for a while last night. For us, at least. While we were almost dead in the water, and port watch were on deck, DLL and Switzerland came zooming up behind us on their own private wind. THey passed G\b and it seemed they might sail right by us too, but when DLL were only yards away and in shouting distance, they too ran out of breeze.
Sowhen we – Starboard watch – came on at midnight, we had all four boats in line astern, a little array of red port lights trotting along behind us. THere were patchy black clouds everywhere against the general darkness, and the wind was fitful, twitching forward and back, and rising and falling constantly, anywhere between 3 and 18 knots. Helming was all about keeping Henrietta at the best angle and speed relative to whatever wind there was at each moment, so our course over the ground varied constantly. Eric was on deck most of the watch – I think he hardly slept in the last 3 hours – helming himslef or watching over the shoulder of each helmsperson to make sure we didn’t waste an ounce of wind. ANd it must have worked, as by this mornig we had only Switzerland visible astern – their red hull a nice change for us to see!
As the morning wore on, the wind settled down. We’d learned in the very early hours of the morning that the course has been shortened, so it really is just another sprint to the finish now. Spirits reain incredibly hih on board, even though may are very short of sleep. We tacked eventually to find the favorable influence of the GUlf Stream, which we are now thoroughly in. As we are beating, the wind against current effect makes life rather uncomfortable. But we’ve had James and Kevin H in the galley, serving up pancakes for a mid-afternoon treat, and last night we had Anita’s famous flapjacks. THe baking hasn’t quite reached the frenzied levels of our last days on the Pacific crossing, but we’ve plenty of fuel to keep us going. THough, you should have seen the panic on Eric’s face when yesterday’s mothers could not find the dry bag with the coffee in. It was a;most an ‘all hands’ situation. Fortunately, the coffee was found – disaster averted,

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