Race Crew

Six days in and (now we've finally found the iPad) time for an update from Team Rocket Dog II (track us on https://share.garmin.com/6FA5P).It has been a week of firsts: 360-degree sunsets, flying a spinnaker, reefing a mainsail in the dark in winds gusting 30+knots, showering once (and only once) and trying to keep track of socks in a 40x10' space with 10 other people and ten kilos of oranges - no chance of scurvy on this boat.Sunday we started out well, through the acceleration zone and south to try and miss the dreaded wind holes across this part of the Atlantic. Made good progress, split into watch teams and by Monday were in steady wind of 10-18 knots. Dolphins, shooting stars, pilot whales and flying fish all in the first 24hrs

7 days at sea and love every minute. We were treated with a pancake breakfast this morning, a perfect start to our Sunday and celebrating a week at sea. The crew are gaining lots of experience as the race progress which will come in very handy as we chase down the competition to the finishing line. Not really a novice crew any longer. James (Foster) received an surprise visit from Fiona the flying fish much to the delight of the rest of the crew. You had to be on board to appreciate this one, hilarious. We adjusted our clocks on board by an hour today, one extra hour of rest for port watch. The clocks are turned back by an hour every couple of days, nice and gentle. No showers for 7 days! Say no more

Blog from James Foster today. Our progress is bit slow at the moment. Firstly to my lovely mother, yes I am being careful, stop worrying!!We are now nearly a week into the race and things have fallen into a vague routine. You’d think all the hours we spend on deck would get monotonous, but every day brings its own set of little things to enjoy, be it Harry directing people around the boat like a chessboard to try and squeeze an extra percentage of speed, or Simon’s electronic misadventures. If anyone is interested, there is a drone somewhere on the bottom of the ocean around two hundred miles off the coast of west Africa. Our skipper Gareth has been the perfect leader for our crew. He has known exactly when to remind us to sharpen our focus on keeping the boat going fast, when to radiate confidence in our progress, and

Today James Harrison is the man behind the blog. Today is Day 6 of racing. The previous days now seem blurred, defined not by sunrises and sunsets, but by shifts on and off. The day breaks down into multiple shifts 6 hours long, or 4 hours at night, shared between 2 watches. The unpleasant 2am alarms and 10am bed times are made bearable by the incredible scenery. Though the sights rarely change, it’s hard to be bored of a sky illuminated by only starlight, and sunrises over an empty ocean.We’ve befriended various dolphins along the way, who I like to think are guiding us home. Their appearance is usually the highlight of any watch. I initially was worried about the sleeping situation: small, shared bunks hardly appeal, but the levels of fatigue endured make any spot seem like the softest mattress. I have found the logbook to make an unexpectedly

Day Five brought us a lot more change than day four did.First it was time to come back down South West towards the trades which meant getting the A5 down and hoisting one of the symmetric spinnakers. Unfortunately the one we hoisted first turned out to have a couple of small tears in (probably from the last time it was dropped) so we brought that down to repair and instead hoisted the red and yellow "dragon" spinnaker.The wind has been a little confused, not being able to decide if it wanted to be 15 knots or 5 or even from the North or East. This has made for difficult driving and tricky trimming but with a lot of effort and concentration it seems we are nearly back into some consistent pressure.The afternoon brought our second fish, another beautiful mahi mahi which we marinated for a couple of hours in soy

Ian - Port Watch 1828 27/11/19Stakes were high last night as the crew undertook its first night watches without the anti-wrap net (a piece of equipment that stops the kite sail wrapping around the forestay). Wrapping the sail could risk ripping it or damaging the boat. We got through the night unscathed, but had veered slightly off course and payed for it today with very weak winds. But, having sat though a couple of very slow hours this morning, winds are on the up and we are currently trying to outrun the light patch before turning west towards St Lucia. Besides, we had brownies for pudding!Although you’re never alone on deck, when the horizon all around you is empty, the boat can feel very isolating. Living with a mental health condition can also be very isolating, both for those being challenged by it directly as well as those supporting them.

Day three has been a pleasant and mostly easy 24 hours. We have been on the same course with the A5 up the whole time, with an almost consistent breeze to make things even easier! The crew's first taste of what the trade winds should be like, although we have been sailing at a fairly high angle and the sea has been almost flat.We haven't seen all that many other boats over the past day but we did cross paths with our friends on 'Oarsome Dream' so it was nice to have a talk on the radio with them. The night was mostly clear and starry apart from a small "baby squall" that brought increased winds and a touch of rain as well as obscuring the stars making keeping a course a lot harder. Nothing the Jua Kali crew couldn't handle though and it soon passed with the rest of

Day 2 Blog written by HarryThings that go bump in the night!Port watch were woken up last night to the sound of Gareth shouting "Halyard" and several extremely loud bangs as the pole crashed repeatedly into the forestay. Then there was some commotion about a large catamaran coming towards us, which made me feel slightly apprehensive sat in the bows.I failed to get back to sleep given all this excitement so we got up, made some coffees, ate some cereal, and prepared ourselves for our 2-6am shift. There followed the usual 10 minute period of everyone stumbling over themselves and each other under the dim red lighting from our head torches. We had a chat with the other watch on deck, drank our coffees, and sailed on powered by a wide range of Genre’s from resident DJ Miki, from Frank Sinatra to Detroite House.There isn’t