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Sailing Blog 2; Middle Sea Race 2015

Middle Sea Race blog time…
Day 3 has been a long one, with a lot of sail changes due to constant shifting wind directions and speeds.  Its been a long day and nights slog to get to the straits but we are there and slowly making our way forward.  We did have some moments where speed picked up but the majority has been very light to nothing, looking out over a millpond.
Situations like this we need stories and jokes to keep us going and the occasional person humming or singing.  Just as we move to the A2 in the early afternoon we saw dolphins a small pod off the coast of Sicily, Andy explained that the race provided a pack to record dolphin sightings and type of dolphin, providing a chart to recognise them etc.  Our decision was that dolphins need their privacy too and we should not stalk them!!  As always it was fun to see them enjoying surfing the bow waves…. at least at that time we had some as we were moving at a few knots in the right direction…. thank goodness!
Overnight was a different story, a random breakout of Irish jokes thankfully not offending the Irish contingent on the boat.  Zero wind for a long time, lots of sail changes and a struggle to keep going in the right direction but EH01 and crew are fighters and we will not give up, we will not surrender and we will make it through the Messina Straits to Stromboli – fingers crossed that happens today!
On my watch we have our fearless leader Andy, master and commander of EH01… we all have to watch the film before joining the boat under his orders, who has vast experience in this race and many others, I think we all know him in sailing.  We also have John, he has previously been called an ‘old sea dog’ by the Pure crew on their blog but we like to say a ‘distinguished gentleman of the sea’, great experience his tale of being clipped on and swept overboard and then pulling himself back into the boat shows his form, and he is our master trimmer.  Richard or Richo, the Aussie contingent working towards getting his yachtmaster, he’s a pilot amongst other roles off boat and excellent helmsman/trimmer keeping us going in the right direction.  Corrine a fabulous German lady, she’s an all rounder with great sailing experience and training with PYR for their apprenticeship yachtmaster and on the side takes care of the foredeckie (that’s me) with excellent bow room services of cups of tea and biccies!  Shaun our Irish contingent doing his first offshore, a little nervous but feels he has the most to learn and gain from the experience, he’s getting stuck in everywhere and good on the mast, finding his way around the boat well and very positive.  Finally Me, Ali on the bow, I’ve done about 8000nm on EH01 over the 7 years racing with Andy, currently funemployed and looking forward to finishing this race as 7 years ago (on EH01) we were struck by lightening, tore our main and were unable to finish after being hit by a squall with 65knots of wind suddenly… so there is unfinished business for me here….
Next time we will meet the other half of the crew, but all together we are a cheerful bunch with hopefully enough jokes and stories to see us back to Malta…
S.Y ‘EH01’
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