Day 5 – Thursday 07 July 7, 2011

Leopard is playing the proverbial game of cat and mouse, though on the water. The boat has to play both roles though- one is avoiding the fishing vessels that were scattered across the North Atlantic and our fleet last night. Several without AIS! There was the on deck watch and the below deck watch on the radar—which was just as active. Particularly in the dead of night with pea soup fog we had all the senses alert. Getting out of the thick fog today as the water temperature has finally started to rise has been a relief.

And now we take the other role, as we creep through the fleet, trying to pounce on competitors and reel them in as we can. This role we are working hard at and prefer to the former.

Conditions are a blessing from sailing standpoint, favorable wind and wave angles helped us achieve a record best for Leopard - 510 nautical miles in 24 hours - incredible. We have hit 30 knots on the speedo several times surging down the back of waves. This cat continues to run fast, as do all our competitors.

The deep chill of the past 2 nights may have passed with the warmer water temperature, we will soon see if as many layers are needed tonight. With the new materials today and fancy sports clothing, can you imagine this same patch of water in oil skins 75 or 100 years ago?! Nonetheless with all of that, the warm woolly cap is still the preferred top for all, particularly with some of us a little thinner of hair! But while the woolly cap is still preferred, the smell of a wet woolly cap down below has not changed in 75 or 100 years either!

With damp and fog above decks we all know that means damp below decks too, nothing new there.

Spirits are high, humor at full force and a great sail to say the least.


Clarke Murphy

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