After this wonderful meal the evening was rounded out by a dolphin show, with a large school of dolphins zipping around our boat, jumping out of the water, and seemingly were enjoying themselves, playing with such a slowly - from their perspective - moving thing like Cirrus.
The morning began with the Klabautermann action, as I have already told you. The spinnaker was flying again, and we were moving, expecting, however, a dip in the ranking. What pleasant surprise to see instead that we had moved up to 2nd place in division! The first place boat is some 20 miles ahead, and although they owe us time due to them being rated faster, it is unlikely that we can get them unless they make a mistake (and we don't!). Defending current position will be demanding enough; these other boats have the annoying habit of not standing still.
Shortly after I finished the good-news-performance-calculations, Bill yelled down "All hands on deck". Oh dear, I envisioned our second halyard being ripped, and the sail in the water again. That would have been the end of the race, because you may get mild penalty from loosing the main (as proven in PCup2006, see our report), loosing the spinnaker is more severe. We do have two additional (light) spinnakers on the boat, but with no halyard to raise them up, they would be of no value. With wobbly knees we went on deck and fortunately saw the spinnaker still flying. However, Bill had noticed some apparent chafing at the halyard near the mast top, and was merely cautious for the same reasons that I had just mentioned. The spinnaker came down and it was quickly determined that the problem he saw would not effect our setup. So up the spinnaker went again.
Cirrus has a couple of lines for spinnaker handling in addition to what other boats have, which makes coordinated handling more demanding, although it makes it safer. We are getting better at raising and lowering the spinnaker.
In late afternoon we suddenly saw a boat ahead of us, sailing under spinnaker. We were expecting to pass them in a few hours, which made our blood flowing hotter again. But they turned south and sailed away. Now, we believe it was one of the racers, but what did they expect from going south? We don't know who that was. They had a white spinnaker with two big horizontal stripes, one in blue, one in red. Anyone knows who she is?
We saw the sun today! Ok, only for a few seconds, but we saw the sun. And now we even saw Jupiter. But the sky is still fully overcast, except for a few small patches of blue sky. And it is getting warmer. The clothing is getting lighter, we are now looking less like Teddy bears, but more like dieting Teddy bears. The first shower maybe no more than two days away; I am not going into this in any more detail ...
About 1/3rd of the race is done. Everyone of the crew in is good condition and looking forward to the next days.
P.S. more on Klabautermann later :-?
position: July 19th 2008 2153PDT lat 31n00, lon 135w35, cog240M, sog 7.2kn