Crew diary – Race across the South Atlantic Ocean – day 14

Rainbow through the storm

4th November 2019 – Race day 14 – Everybody’s going surfing 😎

I surfed my first wave today!
We were doing 25 Knots with 50 knots of wind.
It’s also the first time I have ever helmed downwind.
All thanks to coach Nige πŸ˜Š but my shoulders and forearms are now in bits!

Storm 3 is pretty much on us now.
So we are permanently dressed in our full heavy weather kit and look like minions 😏

Minions on deck

This time the wind and waves will be bigger, but on our backs again so, not as bad as storm 2 which filled the bilges!
It took over an hour to hand pump all of the water out!

Sophia seems brighter today and is out of her bunk. DW is still ill in his bunk.  

Our new ETA is the 8th which is perfect for our Cape Town plans and we are currently sailing in 3rd place.
We gave up on the latest ocean sprint to focus on a podium position.
I really want that pennant for my medal collection back home!  

It is comforting to know that you and our supporters are now starting to make their journeys to greet us in Cape Town.  

I’m getting some extra time to sleep tonight as I am about to pull a double Mother shift to fill in for the missing crew on our watch. 
I’m currently planning the menu in my head. I’m thinking of baking a tea loaf.
That reminds me, I need to tap Sadie up for her porridge secrets.  

Reef 2 in the mainsail, surfing on waves which hit the boom as they glide by

The storm has died off which is great for cooking.
At least we can provide the crew with hot meals and drinks to keep them going.  

Rainbows spotted off the bow through the storm clouds

DW felt well enough to join us on night watch tonight but fell and hit his nose on a handrail in the galley (ouch).
I thought he had broken it (his nose) but luckily just a nasty shock to the system.
Not good when you’re already feeling rough!   

Due to the lack of numbers fit and well for our watch the opposite watch is now doing the majority of the work leaving our watch to keep good speed, course and maintain the boat.  

We just got the news that there may be a potential medical evacuation from team Zhuhai due to someone breaking their ribs!
They are too far from land for it to be an air rescue so if it happens it will have to be a β€œsea to sea” transfer.  
We are too far away to turn back and support them too 😬. There is plenty of morphine on board and each boat has a medical professional so hopefully, they can make them comfortable.

I caught a glimpse of a whale, but I think it was a shark!  

Addendum:

Zhuhai pulled out of the race a few days after this accident.
To steady the boat and make life bearable for their casualty they took down all sails and instead turned their engine on to motor the rest of the way to Cape Town.

This meant another team from the Clipper Fleet needed to meet them to transfer extra fuel.

As a result team, Zhuhai made it into Cape Town long after the rest of the fleet had made it safely into port.
The whole race crew (nearly 200 of us) greeted them on the quayside to celebrate their return.
Their casualty was safely delivered to the medical team 10+ days after his accident.
What a trooper!

It was a big and brave decision from the Skipper and very selfless of the crew to give up their race to support their crew member.

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