Ellen ponders the weather options and our on board correspondent loses his pants.

Ellen writes “Well, once again it’s a beautiful night – though this time the wind is lighter. Our boat speed has been slower for several hours now as the new ridge of high pressure has moved over us from the east. Again we find ourselves in an unavoidable situation as the wind gods cast a shadow over our world.

“For me today has been quite a tough one, and as I sit here typing I’ve had only three hours sleep in the past 24. I have been worrying about performance data, and feeding it up to the guys. Worried about spending time on deck talking about thoughts on doing things better. There do not seem enough hours in the day to achieve everything, but it’s a challenge, a massive challenge and if ever I feel that I am struggling to achieve everything at the level I am looking for, I always try to find the solution.”

Meanwhile, YW Racing Editor Andrew Preece struggled with his own, more mundane, but still serious problem. “When you have only got two pairs of pants for around 60 days of sailing, losing one pair after just 10 days, 12 hours 31 minutes and 9 seconds could be considered a fairly major calamity.

“I was just in front of the main beam with a bucket of salt water and my allocation of half a kettle of fresh water per week balanced precariously on the netting. I had completed the salt water shower and was just undoing the top of the water bottle to administer the final fresh water dousing when my shorts and pants took a gust from under the trampoline, arced up in the air and sailed gracefully over the leeward cuddy. I was left naked and, in those few seconds it took for them to drift away – like my life flashing before me in slow motion in an accident – began contemplating what I would have to do next and how humiliating it would be.

“I was saved the walk of shame by BiBi who gallantly dashed to rescue the shorts before it was too late and delivered them back to where I was cowering; being the person who administers the email server on board the boat has proven to have positive aspects as no one can afford to make an enemy of me… yet.

If anyone happens to be cruising the South Atlantic at around 15 degrees 53.7 minutes South and 32 degrees 2.52 minutes West and comes across a pair of pale yellow and blue striped boxer shorts with a Harrods label (I’m not a fan of boxer shorts or stripes and neither do I shop in Harrods but we were due to leave the following day and I had trawled all over London looking for these things) then perhaps I could reclaim them in a few weeks time on the way back. In the meantime, roll on the Southern Ocean: down there you don’t wash and you don’t take off your pants. So my second and final pair should be safe for a month at least!”

Meanwhile, the big question has to be that if this light weather perseveres, how long will Ellen hold on or will she call this attempt off when the odds of beating Orange’s, let alone Geronimo’s, time get just too long? If it’s in the next couple of days she has time enough to get back to Lorient, re-group, re-provision and standby for another weather window as it is possible to start up until mid-March.