Author Topic: Clipper Race 2019 - 2020 Update 14/10/19  (Read 2402 times)


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Clipper Race 2019 - 2020 Update 14/10/19
« on: October 14, 2019, 08:49:42 AM »
Dare to Lead arrived in Punta Del Este yesterday in 4th place after 28 days at sea and completing over 5,100nm of race 2 of Leg 1. Zoe is flying out to meet her next week and then they are both touring around South America until Christmas !

I'm sure Steph will share her experience of the race when she returns and this traumatic post she put on the crew diary;

Of Creatures Great and Small

Stephanie Stewart

Remember that film? I remember it being on television on a weekend afternoon; my Dad would sit and watch it whilst pretending to clean the sitting room. As a kid I dreamt of being a Vet too; I work now as a Doctor- sort of the same?

Well, the wildlife here in the mid-Atlantic Ocean is nothing like this! It started a week or so ago during the attack of the flying fish. Seemingly out of nowhere the fish would appear on deck, their fins flapping and mouths open. It was manageable at first until the night one hit me in the face whilst I was helming, and then landed at my feet within the confines of the helm cage. This is how I got my nickname- ‘The Fish Alarm.’ I couldn’t help but let out an almighty shriek - the sort that brings the sleeping crew and Skipper on deck to see what the commotion is about. They retire soon after; ‘just a fish’ I hear someone say. On ‘Rolex Watch’ I am very fortunate to be blessed with crewmates who will remove the offending creature in order to stop the shrieking; I hear ‘Swatch Watch’ make the victims remove their own fish!

The attack of the flying fish appears to have stopped; I have seen none of these creatures for some days now which is a huge relief. My paranoia about being on deck at night was just beginning to wane until the next flapping, flying creature begun to attack- seabirds!

We had spent the afternoon watching these birds flying, gliding and fishing alongside the boat. I am no bird expert but I am told they are either Gannets or Shearwaters. They are grey in colour with a white tail; to me, they look like a skinny seagull with a more pointed beak.

That evening when returning to watch we saw a couple of these birds still flying alongside the boat. As the night closed in and the clouds intermittently blocked out the moonlight things became eerie and Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ springs to mind. The birds grew in number until six were circling above the rigging. Michelle and I had been watching them for some time; concerned about how low they were and how long they had been present for. The two of us headed to the back of the boat to undertake our helming stint, I hadn’t been there long when the attack began. The birds dove down from behind us swooping low over our heads. The final straw was when one landed on my head - I felt his claws grab onto my scalp, getting tangled in my untidy windswept hair and could feel his wings furling and unfurling as he settled. I screamed and waved my arms in a panic desperate to get him off of my head. My crewmates presumed it was another flying fish; little did they know it was a bird nesting in my hair!

Michelle and I took turns after that, watching the birds and waving our arms when they got near. At first, no one believed the story until two other crewmates were also hit by these flying creatures. Our AQP Hugues helpfully informed everyone at watch change to be careful of our eyes, as the birds would likely attack these for ‘freshwater.’ He ran off laughing, as the next watch remained fearful of the next attack.

Also one of the crew posted a blog about each person who was leaving at the end of Leg 1 and this is what he wrote about Steph !

Stephanie (aka Steph): From Liverpool, our Liverpudlian (if that’s a word?), is the second doctor on the boat, and is leaving as well. Do they know something we do not? A constant source of entertainment, she got engaged prior to shipping out (like so many sailors of lore). Honest to the core, with an uncanny ability to provide input and opinions on every facet of conversation throughout the boat, she was our clarion call for everything from watch change, log entry, breakfast, lunch and dinner time, sunset, sunrise, well, you get the idea.

 Bossy !!!!!

If you look at the Clipper Website there's lots of photos, reports and updates etc. so until her next Leg 6 from China to West Coast of America in April 2020 bye for now.