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The World’s Longest Yacht Race – Heather’s Update 11

Looking past the lights of the boat, the darkness of the night is on every side. The sky is cloudy and without moon nor stars. The deep abyss below is haunting. Black. Black. Black. Night time shift. It sometimes feels eternal…and then we get dawn and a new grey day begins. Grey is not my favorite color.

Such has been our life past the Bahamas. The watch this morning, as well as this afternoon had rain spitting from the heavens for the entire day. You think that our foul-weather gear is waterproof, but it can only take so much. It soaks through, and you find yourself sitting in a puddle…every part of you gets pruny, as if you just got out of a nice long bath (oh…if only it were so!). I looked down at my wet and wrinkled feet this afternoon and thought “so this is what my feet are going to look like when I get old…”. I think I might be going crazy. We keep a constant countdown of how long to go until NYC. Currently, we have 311.3 nautical miles to go! We had some really good winds this morning and afternoon and made some good mileage, but alas, they are dropping off again. There is a high pressure system forming off the coast of near Maryland/Washington DC. That means that, once again, if we do not pass the system, we could be stuck without winds yet again. We are plowing through, striving hard to get to NYC before our competitors. As it stands, we have Geraldton Western Australia very near us and have played a bit of a ping pong match gaining and losing ground on each other. One good thing about living on a boat is that life gets simplified. I don’t even wear any makeup, and have honestly lost my hairbrush (don’t judge me)! There are challenges with the sailing aspect and with interacting with others, but it’s all we have, and we learn to work with and depend on each other. Being in such extreme circumstances puts your true self out. There’s no hiding behind pretenses or facades…they all fall down here. Here is our schedule for a 48 hour period, beginning at 6am: work, eat, sleep, eat, work, sleep, work, eat, sleep, eat, work, eat some more. See? Simple!
Life is monotonous. And I have honestly been a bit disappointed with the Caribbean and Atlantic wildlife. Literally, all we have seen has been fish we have caught and the occasional bird. And lots of seaweed. The Pacific, as we neared the tropics, was full of turtles, tons of dolphins, and sunshine. Over here…nothing. I have not lost all hope for a whale, though. I keep my eyes peeled, but see nothing but the white crests of the breaking waves.

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