More drama – fast and slow

You could be forgiven for thinking that this race we are deliberately providing drama for Ollie, the media man. Early this morning, as we sailed along close hauled so at quite a heel angle, a crew member took a nasty tumble down the companionway. The result is a grazed and bumped head, temporary numbness in the shoulders – now gone – and the need to wear a neck brace and be basically immobile until we reach Derry. No fun at all. It is alarming how the simplest things that we do every day, like climbing down the companionway steps or into an upper bunk, can turn out to be the most fraught with danger.
In racing news, the drama is at a much slower pace. During the night we gradually pulled past DLL, still just visible through the grey haze astern. And we’ve crept up on PSP, so that from a glimmer ahead on the horizon at nightfall, they are now clearly visible on our port beam, their pale sail nearly the same color as the silvery grey sky. We are sailing upwind on almost calm seas and in mostly steady winds – just concentrating on keeping Henrietta at exactly the best angle for speed, gradually grinding the others down. Eric has almost promised to make flapjacks for the sprint – if we are ‘good’, which probably means all sleeping in the right places and sitting dutifully on the rail with our feet out. Come to think of it, throwing fellow crew down the companionway probably doesn’t count as good – we may have blown it already.
We saw – almost ran over – a big sunfish a little earlier, and Chris saw a shark. There are many feathers floating on the water – we wonder if the sharks are feasting on the many birds – shearwaters I think – who are now mostly resting on the water in little groups. As we pass we disturb them just enough that they start flapping and running to take off, only to flop down again once they realize we pose no threat. THere was a bird – a tern? – attempting to land on the windex early this morning. WIth the proximity of DLL, we can only assume it was one of their spies – luckily it soon desisted.
In other news, the aft heads, heroically repaired by Kevin B. and Herb to much jubilation and adulation yesterday, has failed again. It’s a long way to Derry with 22 people and only once working toilet! We have to remind ourselves frequently that we all CHOSE and PAYED FOR this level of discomfort and indentured servitude. Perhaps the fact that London, the end of the race, and all the comforts of home and civilization are now less than four weeks away is brining our mass insanity into sharper focus. But spirits are high ad the lurgy is dying down, so it’s not all bad here on TeamHL50YOPS

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