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Charlie's Voyage - Valentines Day in the North Pacific

It's Valentine's Day aboard Dare to Lead and we're celebrating Shrove Tuesday, but what is Charlie giving up for Lent?
Charlie and Jenny Helm selfie

Valentines day in the North Pacific Ocean

It's Valentine’s Day aboard Dare To Lead, not much has changed there are no flowers or chocolates eagerly awaiting us from secret admirers, instead we managed to sail right into a squall providing a refreshing downpour for the entire crew. Our shanty town sun shade had now become a not so waterproof rain cover for us to huddle like penguins under. Unsurprisingly, Skipper Dale made a break for the companion way and shot below whilst muttering something about checking the radar I'm sure it had nothing at all to do with the fact he had previously enjoyed a shower in the sun and was now relishing in clean, dry clothes? What better way to spend Valentines?

King Neptune’s visit

In other news, having spent the majority of the race in the Southern Hemisphere this week we achieved another milestone when we crossed back into the Northern Hemisphere. Such an occasion can and must only be celebrated by welcoming King Neptune aboard, here followed a session in Kangaroo Court where our crimes since stepping onboard were announced for one to plead either guilty or innocent. Most crew onboard freely pleaded guilty but there were the odd couple that still plead their innocence! Once charged with such a crime the only way out of punishment was to attempt to appease King Neptune, if you've ever crossed the equator you will know King Neptune is never appeased. Nevertheless, some gallantly tried their best by providing; poems, songs and an exceptionally bad Moonwalk (almost a crime in itself!).
Our punishment consisted of a concoction of tinned goods ladled on top of our heads and spread down our necks for us to then sit back down in the sun while it baked in the midday heat, if that wasn't bad enough the smell that started to rise off of you once it had 'cooked' left a lot to be desired. The best outcome was the team bonding that happened to the music of Spice Girls whilst we threw bucketsful of saltwater over one another and the deck in an attempt to clean up. Our reward for becoming Shellbacks? An ice cold can of coke, had anyone looked on I'm sure they would had admitted that we would have given the Coke adverts a run for their money!

The big dipper

As we sail further away from the Southern Hemisphere we bid farewell to the Southern Cross which has been a comforting sight to help guide us on our way. The joy of returning to the Northern hemisphere was quickly followed by an old friend returning to the sky The Big Dipper. On each clear night at home I would look up in search of The Big Dipper once found I would take a moment to admire the beauty that the night sky holds. Now as I look to the sky, I see both new and old friends and I wonder if I will see them both together again? It's a comfort to know that family and friends back home can see some of the stars I now see again as it means I am one step closer to being reunited with them. Our world is so vast, yet the sky holds many more secrets, take a moment on the next clear night to breathe in the beauty that lies above, I doubt that I would have got the see the Southern Cross had I not chosen to partake in the race.

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday has come around again, I'm sure many are asking the question “What are you giving up for lent?”. I would love to say I'm joining in this year but unfortunately, I am not at sea for the next 40 days. Having given up; showers, clean clothes, social media, the choice of a variety of fresh food and many others while I'm sailing, once I reach land I unfortunately lack the desire and will power to deny myself any of the above. I'm also reliably informed that wearing the same clothes and not showering is no longer acceptable amongst land-based folk so in such essence I just have to enjoy all the perks that land has to offer. However, I'm sure you are all doing your part in lent and it will surely make up for my indulgence?

Neptune’s Soldiers

Back to boat news, you'll be pleased to know that Neptune has been sending his soldiers to keep us motivated, I still react by squealing and jumping each time a flying fish rattles on deck. But what will amuse you is that Skipper Dale is just as useless at dealing with them as I am, I'm hesitant to say maybe more so because in his carelessness one nearly managed to jump through an open hatch and onto the sleeping crew below! I'm just grateful that it wasn't me in that bunk, just think what a wake up that would be, scales flying everywhere, and you'd never get the smell out of the bunk!

On we sail

We are currently sailing along with our Code 2 spinnaker up trying to race through the miles to the top of the Philippines where we hope the wind hole that we can see developing would have moved on by the time we reach it. Having made the right decision to avoid the scoring gate due to a wind hole it would be rather nice to pick up a few extra points in the upcoming ocean sprint.
If all goes well, we shall hopefully be arriving into Sanya in the next 7/8 days! I hear Cirque du Soleil, inspired by the film Avatar, will be in town. It is definitely on my to do list.
Speak to you next week,
This blog was written by Charlie Garratt, Clipper 2017/18 Crew Member and 3Si Ocean Safety Ambassador.