Header image: Henri Lloyd in St Katharine Docks before the race start

Hotter by the day

I remember on the journey from Brisbane to Singapore that it got suddenly hot. The first few days were a bearable temperature then bang, we were straight into minimal clothes by day and by night.

I suppose leaving Brisbane in the middle of January during their summer was significantly warmer than leaving San Francisco in April.

San Francisco seems to have its own microclimate. Locals told me that to dress for the weather in San Francisco meant taking shorts, long sleeves and a wind-breaker. There were odd days or a couple of days at a time which were beautifully hot and clear. Generally though the days were more like early spring in the UK, and one of the days Angus and I visited the Golden Gate Bridge, dressed for a hot and clear day, it was foggy and we froze.

So the race start under the Golden Gate Bridge saw us wearing several warm layers, foul weather salopettes, and the Henri Lloyd white jackets until out of sight of land when they were put away and replaced with foul weather smocks. These are commonly known as foulie tops and bottoms or just foulies.

Gradually as we have been travelling south, we have been shedding layers.

During the day I am now down to my minimum bra top and shorts, with sunscreen, Tilley hat and sunglasses.

Nights have been slower to warm up, despite cloud cover that sometimes hides the stars and the moon. The foulies have long since been shed, and the number of warm layers has been reducing. However even last night I needed long trousers and long sleeves. Only just though. Soon it will be down to shorts and a vest, and then shorts and bra top as during the day.

Below decks though it has been behaving pretty much as it did on that first journey from Brisbane to Singapore. It is stiflingly hot down here, even though we have big fans rigged up to move the hot air around. There is also a windscoop, set up on the foredeck to funnel fresh air down through the forward hatch. If you’re not directly in line of a blast of this moving air, you will be bathed in a coating of sweat from head to toe. Best go and rig up the other thing that helps you sleep, now I have found one that works: a little USB fan that connects to a USB power pack.

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