This is the first blog from Pyxis as the first few hours of the race were pretty lumpy and moderately windy so life on board consists of just sailing, eating and sleeping, since then we have had no phone signal. Let me introduce ourselves. We are Kirsteen and Judith, a double-handed crew and we think maybe the only all female crew in the race? Double handed sailing is great fun - especially on a long race as we do not have the issue of storing too many crew, kit and food which affords us more space and the chance to eat really well. Last night chicken savoyard - fantastic. Tonight is homemade balti - yum - no dried food or boil in the bag for us just home cooked meals frozen down. Breakfast this morning - warm apple turnover washed down with Kirsteen's home made lemon, mint and honey juice - tastes great and stops scurvy even if it looks like bilge water :-)) The drawback of double handed sailing is that blogs are more difficult as we only have one on watch at once, the other sleeps so we had to wait for a quieter period and allow the auto helm to steer for a while, even then keep having to break off to trim sails - we are racing after all. We do 2hrs on 2hrs off which is always tough the first night till the body gets used to it, then it gets much easier. Last night was fabulous though, clear starry night, almost full moon all night and lots of shooting stars. Its great being at sea - no light pollution. I have just been watching a gull soaring around then diving for its lunch - nature is amazing! So on to our course so far which took us a way into the channel to avoid foul tide at Portland Bill as we are one of the slower handicap boats. We then had a tack to make sure we avoided the shipping traffic separation zone off Les Casquets (N of Channel Islands). We had a short tack to avoid a ship as it was really busy beyond the separation zone, although most were good and avoided us. We have now tacked on a big wind shift and heading back towards the UK mainland and hoping the wind direction is kind making it easy to get through the separation zones round the Scillies then off to find the rock. J&K signing off for now and hoping we get some signal so this can send.
Judith Eastwood BSc