Leg 7 Part Uno – Seattle to Panama

Fri 29th Apr – Leg 7 begins

First, apologies, I omitted some key events from my leg 6 blog…

1) Stephan’s “personal sausage” – now an oft quoted term on the boat, “personal sausage” expresses a preferences for receiving one’s sausage whole as oppose to sharing one casserole style
2) The race of Phil’s life – we all played a part
3) We won!

Anyway onward and upward..??

We started the race with an “execution” sail (beautifully misread by Ruth!) and are now motoring to the real start.

Sat 30th Apr – Go go go!

Finally got the race started – Le Mans style. Weather is currently lovely – blue skies and acceptable winds for flying a code 1. Managed to sunburn my face, which is uncomfortable.

Sun 1st may – Starry nights

Not much to report. Sunny and flying a spinnaker. The night stars here are some of the best we’ve seen.

Mon 2nd May – Sharks and dolphins

Rob has explained how to fight a shark. Apparently it used to be in the sea survival syllabus. You need to punch it in the nose, poke it in the eye, roll it over, stroke it’s belly and then hold it so it can’t swim off and therefore drowns.

In dolphin news we saw some porpoises and Becky said that once her friend swam with dolphins and one of them pulled off her bikini bottoms and swam off with them. Doesn’t surprise me. Dolphins are perverts.

Tues 3rd May – Slooooow

Slowly, slowly trudging along. Going to take aaages to get to Panama.

Thurs 5th May – Mexico

My cold has now got much worse and it is raining outside. At least we are making decent speeds. We are now parallel with the North of Mexico. We have burritos for lunch. I have really gone off the rehydrated mince.

Fri 6th May – A change of pants

In today’s news I found my hat. Or, more specifically, Mike found it in his pocket so now it smells of cigarettes. I have changed my clothes. Wanted to save myself for when it was hotter, but decided that was too disgusting.

First flying fish and onboard squid occurred within the space of an hour.

We are thinking of tipping off the Mexican navy to board LMAX and search for drugs since no redress would be awarded for this apparently. Mwah ha ha.

I also have noticed that all Irish people love Taytos and apparently they do come in flavours beside cheese and onion.

Sat 7th May – Ellie commits a fashion crime

Mikey G, fashion police, is not very impressed with my outfit of red foulie bottoms and pink waterproof coat (even though he’s colour blind).

4 squid jumped onto the boat last night and I learnt that if your tortoise isn’t moving you should put it in warm water. This year has not been a waste of my time.

Sun 8th May – 1st turtle in 36000 miles

I am bored. So, so bored. This leg is very tedious. There is nothing to see except the sea (although I did spot a turtle I thought was a patch of weed). 1 turtle in 36000nm! Cannot see land, there are even less birds than leg 6. In a 6hr watch we spotted 1 tern and 1 gannet. Cannot believe I spent my money to be this bored. Although a flat boat is nice.

Mon 9th May – Derry, un point

We got a scoring gate point. LMAX was just behind us and didn’t. Heh heh heh. Almost got a photo of us, the sun rising, LMAX behind and me giving the ‘V’ sign, but no one else thought this was appropriate. Although it’s good to get a point we did get beaten to the scoring gate by UNICEF and Telemed, who we had a head start on. Shame on us.

Tues 10th May – Diesel, diesel everywhere

We had a diesel leak out of one of the joints (my fault -oops – I am a terrible plumber). Saw some very athletic dolphins and a whale. My knees feel burnt and my big toes feel unnatural.

Thurs 12th May – John’s boobies

A hot and sweaty day of mothering yesterday, but did get a back of the boat shower, which was nice.

Light winds and nice helming today. John pointed out a nice pair of brown boobies diving for fish. He said they always come in pairs, but I suspect this is a rude lie. I spotted some whale spray. I am getting good at wildlife spotting, bodes well for my dive trip to Lundy.

I am reading a book about brain surgery. It is somewhat graphic but quite compelling.

Fri 13th May – Everything falls apart at once

First the generator conked out – changed the impeller and had to bodge a cross threaded bolt hole. Then the engine room filled with water as a watermaker pipe came off (again!) And at the same time the spinnaker ripped. Spent past watch repairing spinnaker and sweating. No air flow down in the sail locker. Felt sick. Plus Dan was in a mean mood and wouldn’t let us have a cup of tea before we started.

Sat 14th May – Sail repair, done

Finished repairing the spinnaker – thank f*ck! It was a sweaty experience.

Tony complimented my helming today. Maybe I should do more.

Discussed our “naked and afraid” useful useful items last night. Dan wants a pair of pants – “if I have a machete I think a pair of pants would be quite useful”.

Mon 16th May – Burning

Oh the searing heat of the Guatamalen sun! Got burnt through my clothes. Ouch! Good day for wildlife – saw 3 turtles and some flipping (actually ‘spinning’) dolphins.

We were discussing our favourite leg the other day/ the one we would recommend to others and Ali, Diarmuid and I agreed on Leg 4 despite our poor result. Diarmuid was impressed by “Australia and the Australians in it”. 🙂

Tues 17th May – Whale’s breath ointment

The yachty botty is back and my American diaper rash cream smells like whale’s breath. Groo. Wildlife continues to be good. Shark spotted this morning and more hunting dolphins. Apparently the things leaping out of the water and spinning are tuna.Tuna wraps for lunch 😦

Weds 18th May – Whales, dolphins, tuna and cheese

Mystery of the whale’s breath smell has been solved. The potion contains cod liver oil. Why?! Clothes got drenched last night in another squall. The lightning show we get each night is impressive.

Lots of turtles out swimming today and dolphins continue to eat lunch around the same time as us. They sadly have to have tuna everyday. Today we got cheese enchiladas.

Thurs 19th May – 4th place

The race was called at the Remedios gate with us finishing in 4th place. Not our best result and with slightly different clouds it could have been 1st, but then again, 8th, so not bad overall and we continue to defend our 2nd place overall. Went for a breakfast swim with UNICEF and LMAX. The water is very salty. Great for floating but horrible in the sinuses. Now motoring to Costa Rica to refuel.

Fri 20th May – The Booby Queen

Some boobies came and scared Ruth off the bowsprit and took up residence. I was starting to train them, styling !myself as the booby queen, like Daenarys Targaryan from Game of Thrones, but with less fire and more feathers. They stayed a while and invited some friends and Kieren even stroked one. Unfortunately they disgraced themselves in the early hours of the morning by soiling the sails so they had to go. I should have started with toilet training.

Sun 22nd May – Costa Rica

Stopped in Costa Rica for fuel. We had fresh fruit and eggs and toast and beer for breakfast and used Wifi. Would have been nice to stay longer but onward to Panama.

Mon 23rd May – Lightning strikes

Boat was struck by lightning last night. We are exploring the possibility that we now all have superpowers and not just broken wind instruments.

I actually have something resembling a tan. Not sure how I feel about it. Despite knowing it’s skin damage I can’t help but like it a little. Kieren has not tanned much and is describing his colour as a white T-shirt that’s been washed a few too many times!

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