Pata Negra - just a moment of downwind and sunshine

Please do not reply to the mail

Saturday 11am - all is good after another very wet night. Lightening,

Thunder and rain like it want to fill the atlantic (!?) through most

of the night. Just before sunset we spotted Teasing Machine on our

stern and they came past us through the night about 400m away. Very

creepy being all the way out here and seeing a competitor. Shame we

couldn't wave! :)

Weather is taking some interesting turns. At one point last night it

was 30Kts on the nose and now we are desperately trying to escape the

centre of the forming low pressure as it moves slowly East. The

challenge with going north now is the ice exclusion zone as we don't

have a huge amount of space. Currently just put up the first kite of

the race... makes a change, but every other upwind sail has been used.

Andy did an amazing job yesterday and fully fixed the forward heads.

Now that's a job that no one wants, even in harbour, but the

workmanship is impressive. New supporting boards, were cut, new pump,

new bolts, even suggestions to improve the design and stop it

happening again.

Aladin has been up all night (skipping his off watch) and keeping the

focus. He joined the boat in Antigua but very quickly got to know it.

At the age of 22 with about 110,000 sea miles to name and has

extensive experience way beyond his years. The younger guys all vary

from 20,000 to 60,000 miles - Alice for example is only 22 but has

already done 6 atlantic crossings including a Capetown to the UK.

Later today: Just as I was preparing this text above - the grey clouds

rolled in from the North and in seconds it was Kite down and back on

the wind. We also then found the leech had splilt on the J2 which as

been painstakingly patched up over the last 4 hours by Mark, Rob and

Alice. Hopefully their stitching holds as we'll no doubt need it if

the wind easies.

So we're back on the wind, but somehow gaining Teasing Machine? We

think they may have fallen out of the current... hopefully its too

late if they are reading this.

Now to make some lunch for the crew - if anyone prays please can we

have a South Westerly 25 kts????