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Day 5 - on the way South!

Scarlet Logic and crew passed around Out Stack at Muckle Flugga at 9am this morning to a glorious morning with blue skies, puffy white cumulus clouds and a slight tinge of pink in the sky still lingering from dawn.  Muckle Flugga is actually further North than Oslo and known for being a bit chilly, so no doubt the crews will be delighted to have made the turn. 

A gift of a bottle of Muckle Flugga whisky to the boat from Ross' girlfriend was well received and Simon reports "We all toasted our Northernmost mark as well as a drop for Neptune and Scarlet. It was a really special Scotch whiskey and very warming in the icy chill of the early morning."

Simon describes Muckle Flugga as "Very steep black cliffs on the island of Unst topped by grassy green tops. We were very close to the RSPB reserve of Hermaness noted for a colony of breeding Great Skuas, also known as Bonxies. Simon on seeing one called out,"there is a Great Skua" at which point Mark said quick as a flash, "I'll have a lamb kebab on mine!" Plenty of puffins flying, their small wings just a blur as they have to beat very fast to stay airborne."

Frustratingly the UK is sat between two Low pressure systems - so poor Scarlet Logic were beating into a Northerly wind up the East Coast of Scotland, and are now beating into a SW wind flow as the head towards Ireland. The weather definitely favoured the larger yachts which got ahead of the current in-between airflows, leaving Class 1 and 2 to fight into a headwind, with the sea still choppy after the recent strong winds. The crews will no doubt have their heads down, battling along hard.

But they are doing brilliantly - still leading class and maintaining 4th in IRC Overall. 

"Ross played the wind shifts very astutely on the way upto Muckle Flugga - First taking a long tack to the North North East before turning through 90 degrees to head North West at which point we were not on the lay line for the Outer Flaess mark in the Shetlands. Then we headed North North West back onto the lay line, as Ross had correctly anticpated that the the wind would shift around from North West to North East. This move helped stretch the gap with our nearest competitors, at least for the moment.

Still a long way to go, just over a 1000 miles but we are now heading South! Under main and jib No:3 at the moment.

About a 180 miles to go now to Sular Sgeir our next course mark. It is an isolated rock which sticks up in deep water off the west coast of Scotland."

Of the other boats in the fleet, Relentless on Jellyfish went even further East than Scarlet in a move that appears to have paid off for them as they have now moved up to 2nd in Class, overtaking Rare, the 2-handed Figaro being raced by Ian and Conrad (a previous racing first mate for Sailing Logic!).

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