Big night and race finish.

18 December

1600 to 2000 watch which is now local time midnight to 4 am.Also just having the main meal at midnight seems odd.Our watch came on deck to the code 3 spinnaker up with 1 reef in the main and 18 to 21 knots of breeze. We were having to steer from the leeward(starboard in this case ) side as the starboard instruments are currently not working. The yacht was nice and easy to control initially steering 140 wind angle.
A gust came through which coincided with a wave that rounded us up.The boat broached and it was difficult to bear away despite dumping the main. Each time I did manage to start bearing away the kite would power up and round us into the wind again.About the 5th time we managed to ease the kite at the right time and I was able to get the boat downwind. Not before I had injured my right elbow when the wheel had spun back into it. It was a different experience broaching while steering from the leeward side ; with the boat half way on its side your downside leg is almost knee deep in water. I asked Seamus who was standing in the other helm to take over. We noted the wind had gradually increased with some gusts now near 30 knots and it was time to drop the spinnaker. Only trouble was the lazy sheet was wrapped horribly around the active sheet.We spent at least half and hour unwrapping it ,though Spokesy seemed to have the knack of knowing which loop to choose to unravel it.Seamus kept the boat downwind as much as possible though every so often he called for us to leave the sheet alone as the boat attempted to round up. We then dropped the kite ,raised the yankee and proceeded under better control under white sails.
Next morning ,still under white sails ,with 30 knots plus and a building following sea.The morning presented many surfing opportunities as we headed pretty much at Fremantle with under 200 miles to go.

19 December

night of 19th ,first time we spotted evidence of other human life as we have a close crossing with a ship. initially downwind under white sails but with the wind easing we set the code 3 but after putting a reef in the main. as the wind eases further we shake out the reef.

We finish our watch with only 40 odd miles to go.

I am awake just after dawn and put my head up the companionway and see the familiar sight off Rottnest Island off our port side.
We are soon into the marina at Fremantle sailing club and reacquainted with the fleet

For me and anti climax this one but still another crossing this time into the Southern Ocean and down to the legendary roaring forties. And I am sort of on home soil having lived in WA in the past. A short intensive stopover and we will start the Australian leg to Airlie Beach via the Southern tip of Tassy on Christmas Eve.

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