22° 36.17 N, 024° 17.17 W
Distance to finish: 2136.4 NM
Nine days in to the 2018 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge and we are getting in to our stride. The first week was HARD. We were permanently exhausted as our bodies adjusted to the gruelling regime of two hours on, two hours off, but now we've acclimatised and we are starting to enjoy it. The long nights offer amazing stars and a roller coaster ride like no other. We are literally hanging on to the oars as Pegasus flies down big rolling waves at speeds of up to 9 knots. The closest thing we can liken it to is the Space Mountain ride at Disneyworld. It's terrifying and fun all bundled into one!!
Speaking to the Duty Officer confirms that we are in a good position mid-fleet and keeping up with the pack. Although we're not expecting to win, we'd like to do this in 50 days so we can reach Antigua in time for Peter's mum's 93rd birthday. Despite having fallen and broken her hip three weeks ago, she is still absolutely determined to be on the dockside to greet us... so its the least we can do to get there on time! There are some good Easterly winds coming in which should help to push us towards Antigua.
Our hitchhiker swallow has now checked out of Hotel Pegasus. He took off without paying his bill or so much as a backward glance - there's gratitude! We also had a flying fish in the boat a couple of days ago - smaller than we expected but apparently they're not great to eat so we threw it back. We saw a huge container ship, but alas still no whales or dolphins.
Our last phone call home mostly consisted of hysterical laughter at the other end of the line as we relayed the story of our daily ritual - bottom inspections! Every day, we have a look and give each other marks out of ten based on blisters, pimples and potential signs of injury. I can happily report that so far, we are both scoring ten out of ten in the bottom department!
We've got a couple of radio interviews lined up for Christmas Eve on BFBS radio and BBC Hereford and Worcester, so listen out at around 10am and keep your fingers crossed for a handy satellite.
If you're not tracking our progress already, the YB Races tracker will show you exactly where we are in relation to the rest of the fleet. It is available as an app from the App Store or Google Play, if you want to track us on a smartphone. Be warned,... dot watching is a highly addictive activity! You will also know more than us - we can't see the rest of the fleet, so pummel family for information whenever we call home!
Last but by no means least... thank you to the smallest (and most adorable) member of our support team for making this fantastic good luck video for Grandad Neil. All she wants for Christmas is for you to make a big donation to our charities... That would certainly make our Christmas wish come true too, so here's the link to our charity page! https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/GrandadsoftheAtlantic