In case you missed it on the Clipper Race website. My crew diary entry. An effort to communicate with you in the absence of the mapshare tweets.
We are in what is for us serious race mode now! It has been fun having other boats around us to push us. Also, we have reached that portion of the race where our position crossing through gates on the course becomes critical, since the race could be shortened at any of these gates, depending on the weather (lack of wind in the Doldrums), making each gate a potential finish line.
We have gone from an overall strategy perspective to a more immediate tactical point of view. Initially we were focused on weather patterns and the best route to the finish, catching up after our delayed start, conserving and maintaining crew energy, and boat maintenance. Now all eyes keep a constant lookout, we work hard to defend our position, have established specific roles for each person for periods of time while we implement tactical plans, and focus on optimal sail trim at all times. Trim, trim, trim!
It has been very good to rotate roles thus far in the race. Each person has gained the big picture perspective for the various manoeuvres on the boat and can step into most tasks fairly comfortably. As a result, when we have locked in roles for periods of time, we become very efficient, as each task is completed with good understanding of the action's impact on the rest of the activity going on. With understanding of the coordinated pieces of each manoeuvre, we can recover from mishaps quickly as well. For example, when the Windseeker was being taken down and the clew was inadvertently eased prematurely (it almost looked like Han would go flying through the "letter box" between the foot of the mainsail and the boom!), a quick move to lasso the sheet around a nearby winch facilitated a quick recovery. This is teamwork at its best!
Mascot Marvin the musical ClipperTelemed+ moose even made an appearance today to promote the fun racing spirit on board and to remind us of all the loving support coming our way from back home.
Meanwhile boat care tasks and mother duties continue unchanged. We have wholesome meals lovingly prepared by mothers despite the heat and the tilt associated with upwind sailing angles. We are a happy boat.