It's hot. My crew are covered in sweat. During the day, we cover ourselves in sun tan lotion and try to sit in the shade. During the night, we wear shorts and t-shirts on deck and still feel too warm. Our conversations are usually about the heat or how we are struggling to sleep. And we are drinking several litres of water a day.
We are in the Pacific Ocean, off the Western coast of Mexico, about 13 degrees north of the Equator on our way to the Panama Canal. We are approaching the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (a.k.a. the Doldrums), the area where the sun beats down and the winds don't blow. In the meantime, we are battling along trying to gain a few miles on the other Clipper Race boats we occasionally see on the horizon.
It's been a frustrating race for the crew on my boat Switzerland. After a slow start, we took a wider course than the rest of the fleet which paid off - we sneaked through into second place and even briefly held the lead at one point. But as the fleet spread out, some of them gained from better patches of wind and closed the gap.
Even worse from our point of view was the heat and tiredness making us sloppy. One night, we spent several hours losing ground, partly because of the course we were attempting to follow. My skipper Vicky, was not happy when she found out and had a few words with the entire crew as well as our navigators. Hopefully, we won't make that mistake again.
For now, we are trying to make the best speed possible towards each finish line. If only we could find our own patch of wind to get us through them faster.
You can read my previous blogs here.