And the fourth night was the right night! The heaven was filled with stars and the men on watch on deck were finally able to chat amongst ourselves naturally, without having to bellow to make ourselves heard… The collars of our foulies are open now as we no longer have to do battle with the spray or the cold. The ambient temperature has utterly changed, as has the seawater, which is now 23°C, as opposed to 10 at the start. This changes the tone and this ‘truce' comes as a welcome relief. Gitana 13 is dry again, the two hulls having been sponged down from top to bottom. The crew meantime has had a good rest for the first time, with the resulting deep sleep a real joy for the person in charge of waking everyone up. Each time the person being woken is a long, long way from this Pacific crossing record attempt and takes several seconds to climb aboard once more.
So here we are, under the stars on flat seas with all the sail aloft. We're slipping along on calmer seas, still beam on to the breeze. The sheets are in our hands; there's a reef to be taken in as the wind fills in, albeit it temporarily… quickly followed by shaking out the reef again. Cups of tea or coffee once more circulate about the deck, where paradise reigns, but it won't last. In the next few hours we're expecting the wind to fill in again. We're maintaining the same angle in relation to it so as to set off again with the best possible 'heading/speed' compromise, comfort having absolutely no part in the equation as you've doubtless grasped. However, Captain Lionel's smile has everyone taking their medicine when, beaming broadly, he announces that in two days time we are likely to have covered half the course. “Five days to get halfway across the Pacific, not bad eh?” Go on then, I won't mind getting dumped on by another wave after all!