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Heartbeat IV - 5th December and 6th December - Never a Dull Day - and Happy Birthday Lizzie P-J

Sorry about lack of blog yesterday but we had satphone probs (ran out of credit - I know, I know - but luckily we were cold called about claiming for mis-sold PPI so we asked them to contact our service provider)- now sorted - and a few electronics issues (no wind or speed or location data) - now sorted.

Now going upwind - yes indeedy - along the rhumb line (or Rum Punch Line as we trying to think of it) - with under a 1000 miles to go. Weather situation interesting tactically. Last two days brighter and sunnny (well yesterday anyway - cloudier today) but with a steady lightening breeze - assy 2 and 5 out briefly yesterday for a few hours - now #2 and main. Last two nights still loads of electrical storm and enough rain to need full wets.

On the food front - yesterday more fresh scones with jam made from our own onboard raspberries and the previous day fresh bread rolls. Today I watch as Mr Blande prepares fresh pizza base and tuna, sweetcorn and potato salad for lunch. It sounds lovely but as he drips sweat for flavouring (no salt required) - it's not quite as glamorous as it sounds. Temperature in cabin around 38C.

Injuries are all on the mend with the help of paracetamol and ibuprofen - Mrs P-J has been able to trim assy - so added speed. Flying fish still throw themselves at Mr Walker and now Ms Paterson - but as yet no sign of dolphins or similar. Dinner as yet to decided on team vote - curry or spicy sausage pasta. So far the plans for reading books, watching films and listening to music have been limited.

Currently Mr 'Fixit' Bassett, myself and Ms 'On the Case' Paterson doing important men's and women's work observing Mr Blande - so no excuse for slacking. The on deck team are Mr 'Bogmeister' and Mrs 'Cabin Service Director' Walker, Mr 'Pants' Magee (and his magic pants), Jude 'Senior Management' PJ, and Roger 'Mr Angry' Temple (have you ever seen 'Dead Calm'?). Now a lot of the sailors appear to be changing a sail so I'm trying to look very busy and occupied writing this blog.

Today (5th) also Lizzie P-Js birthday back in England - so happy birthday Lizzie from Dad and Jude and all the HB IV team.

Now it's the 6th and after a slightly wet night - now in sun with A5 and main in 18k making about 8.5 SOG. Have just spotted a ship on our starboard quarter - the Global Bonanza bound for the Orinoco River - CPA in 36 mins and about 0.8nm. Heat now increasing dramatically - tactical strategy working OK. Plan is just to keep racing and avoid breaking anything - temp vang exploded again but had lasted 2000 miles (thanks to Barton blocks - 'blocks don't come tougher than this' and Dolphin Sails sail ties - 'sail ties don't come tougher than this').

Interesting Facts about ARC 2012 - 9 sailors used just one bottle of sun cream in 10 days; wet weather gear used every night so far. Just had fresh melon for mid-morning break. Pics attached are of assorted sailing last couple of days.

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