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Charlie's Voyage - Lifejacket lessons for new leggers

Welcome to Race 10, before we know it I'll be saying goodbye to these blogs as there are only a few races left! Now there's a scary thought, I'll have to return to land-based life and some sort of normality.

Charlie, Nqoba and Mick catch up

Lifejacket lessons for the new leggers

So, after crossing the North Pacific one could almost say that the sailing so far on this leg has been mundane, I'm sure that is what Skipper Dale would say but I for one have been enjoying a relatively relaxed sail.
 
As with our arrival into Seattle this leg started off with a motor back out of Puget Sound, this gave our new leggers the perfect opportunity to ensure that everything was stowed securely as well as a lifejacket lesson from yours truly. Having made my Aunty Lindsey and Uncle Don help me with the checking and repacking of all of Dare To Lead's lifejackets during the Seattle stopover (complete novices to lifejackets), I'm sure they will be glad to know that the new joiners took the time to recheck and pack their own lifejackets. Having spent the last eight months repacking lifejackets it's safe to say you can tell the difference between one that I've packed and one that a novice packs which I guess could go some way to explaining why the crew always seem to leave the repacking to me!?

Back in the top four!

Today is the first day that we can really feel the warmth, I've moved to my lightweight thermals as I was starting to overheat in my Typhoon Thermafleece ones. We've had blue skies and beautiful downwind sailing conditions, luckily for us we have managed to keep the company of Visit Seattle, Qingdao and PSP Logistics all within AIS range which means that we are enjoying being back in the top four. It is also great to be able to see their sails on the horizon, mainly Visit Seattle's, compared to the last few races where we've mainly been sailing our own race but this time we've an extra kick to ensure we find the perfect trim as our competition is either just ahead or chasing us from behind.
 
Visit Seattle keeping Dare To Lead company

Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint

We've recently entered the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint and I'm sure you'll not be surprised to learn that moments before we blew our Code 1 Spinnaker! We shall dedicate hands to the task of repairs now to ensure that, come the light winds, we have it back in action. Otherwise we'll end up slipping further back in the fleet when the doldrums decide to kick in, leaving us bobbing along in a snails race. I guess the positive would be endless days perfecting my suntan which surprisingly, when I first mentioned I was sailing around the world, a good number of folk thought that meant a holiday where I enjoyed the sunshine on the bow of a small yacht in a swimsuit somewhere in the vicinity of the Caribbean, a far cry from the North Pacific!

Dolphins and turtles

In the last few days we have seen numerous dolphins and a few turtles however we've yet to see any signs of migratory whales which is a great disappointment to the crew but most of all Skipper Dale as we know he just loves to be woken each time we see Dolphins and Whales!
 
On that note, I can hear more squeals of delight coming from on deck which can only mean one thing… Dolphins. I've not quite got bored of seeing them yet, so I shall see you next week!
 
Charlie
 
This blog was written by Charlie Garratt, Clipper 2017/18 Crew Member and 3Si Ocean Safety Ambassador.