June 6, 2016 - a change of pace

We've been staying in the lead pack, making steady gains on the first place boat, which is now only about 7 miles ahead in terms of distance to finish, though about 30 miles further west. This has taken diligent work, especially in the lighter air we are in, about 12 knots. We have a new rule - no talking to the helmsperson during their 1 hour shift on the wheel. We do thirty minute job rotations in the pit (2 grinders and one trimmer for the spinnaker) with breaks built in to complete other boat jobs. But still, the fun continues. Yesterday, Matt hijacked happy fun time, saying HE had planned an activity... Spinnaker sail change with all hands. Oh well. Happily, today conditions were perfect for some fun interaction.  The boat was flat, the generator was off (so it was relatively quiet), and the wind was steady. We celebrated accents, noting that we have people from all over the UK and North America, as well as Spain, South Korea and South Africa. I brought out one of my favourite pronunciation practice materials, the silly passage about Betty Botter's bitter butter. We had a chuckle noticing differences such as missing Ts, Ds for Ts, missing Rs, strong Rs and so on. We even practiced copying one another's accents, resulting in much hilarity. Though they said they thought the Canadian accent was the same as the American accent, I challenged them to listen carefully.  They picked up on the tagged, "eh?" without any difficulty ;-) At team meeting, Matt warned us that we are in for a big change of pace. Rotating Tropical Storm Collin is in our path.  Winds will build for the next 12 hours and then drop off, bringing much rain. Eventually we will see big wind - sustained 50 knots, gusting to 60. The worlders are un-fazed. Most of the leggers are excited to experience a bit of weather before the end of this sailing adventure. Hopefully, it will be a fast fun ride to New York! And nothing breaks!!