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A Big 24 Hours!

Date: 21st april 2017
Noon position: 46:28N 07:48W [middle of the Bay of Biscay]
Rig: No. 2 Yankee, Staysail, 1 reef in Main, Mizzen.
Day's Run: 223nm

What a big 24 hours! The first 6 hours of the last 24 were spent under
spinnaker - we got faster and faster, and pulled away from Wylde Swan, who
could not keep up. However, all good things come to and end, and we had a
dramatic drop of the kite in building force 5 winds, and then put a
couple of reefs in the main.

Happy hour was a hilarious rendition of Romeo and Juliet, and some very good
chocolate brownies.

The forecast came in for a heavy night, so we prepped by hunkering down:
staysail dropped; mizzen dropped; genoa dropped and no. 2 hoisted; No3 and
storm jib ready when needed; the foredeck cleared of any headsails; and a
tasty meal of chilli con carne eaten.

On the race, there is an organized radio schedule in the morning and
evening, where each ship reports in their position, and we can work out who
is in the lead etc. The schedule is run by the communications officer,
Harry, who is based on Santa Maria, a four masted schooner from Portugal.
The thing is, radio range is limited, so boats nearer the front have to pass
messages via boats nearer the middle. Rona II has been collating people's
position and then sending them off via email to the comms officer. We also
of course have Yellow Brick tracker, which can be followed at
http://www.sailonboard.com/yb-satellite-tracking/

The radio schedule came in with us second in class - the French on Hosanna
ahead on corrected time; and the Germans on Peter von Danzig behind on
corrected time. On the course, PvD is ahead of us, and Hosanna is behind. We
had good chats on the radio with PVD, Hosanna, Jolie Brise and Wylde Swan,
who offered to make us cookies if only we slowed down for them to hand them
to us.

So the night came, much singing on deck and banging and crashing below.
Someone who will remain unnamed [Jordan] managed a moment of comedy genius
and poured hot chocolate all over the floor and Ferghal. All night we could
see Swan catching us up. At dawn, they were level with us, and we saw our
first Dolphins. We needed more sail, so hoisted the staysail, the mizzen,
and shook a reef out of the main.

Breakfast was sausages, eggs and beans, which is the last of our fresh food.
The pressure has dropped from 1030 to 1022 and the winds are still strong.
No major changes in position in this morning's radio schedule. That's it -
next update in 24 hours.

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