An exciting watch from 0400 - 0800. The vessel ahead of us suddenly turned in our direction - asleep? compass failure? mutiny? The reason hit us a few minutes later when the same squall, lit by lightning, hit us, sending us round the compass and eventually causing us to wear ship to get back to something like our course. During the squall the helmsman was entertained by a comprehensive failure to communicate between Race Control and one of the vessels about the correct side on which to leave the first Waypoint,during which the word for No was used in several languages simultaneously.
The Small but Lovely Watch and the Valiant BMs, aided by Philippa The Fierce, completed the series of manoeuvres during which Tenacious hit over 9 knots, dropped to less than 1 and was taken aback, all in the space of 90 minutes. Our position in the race changed constantly as the windshifts favoured first one vessel then another, but day broke with us in the middle of the field. A cold, rainy morning was not quite what we expected in the Black Sea, but at Happy Hour the watches below were pleased, for once, to be there.
The livestock quotient increased with two land-birds hitching a ride and a pod of the distinctive Black Sea dolphins (small and brown) cavorting alongside. As we write and the sun sets, a combination of good seamanship and guile might just have moved us to the head of the field (in our class, anyway), but for how long, we wonder...
Roger and out, The Lovely Watch
Peter, Fwd Port