by Simon Fisher (navigator)
On deck this morning, it was dark, grey and raining, with little wind. It was hard to believe you weren’t somewhere in northern Europe in the depths of winter, when you looked around, other than the fact that everyone was in shorts and t-shirts and didn’t seem to mind the least little bit.
We had a good run last night with nice breeze but early this morning we parked. There were a few massive clouds and that was it, we were stuck there, wallowing in a leftover swell and very little breeze. It seemed like we could have been stuck there for hours, as all around it looked as though there was little wind and that perhaps our quick run north had finally come to an end.
Luckily, however this was not to be. We picked up a few small puffs that got us moving again. We unfurled our big sails when we felt the breeze was sufficiently stable and we wouldn’t stop once more, but then, only minutes later, it was quite the opposite, the wind continued to build and build until we had 25+ knots and we were roaring along at a similar speed.
It was a rapid change of modes needed from drifting to blasting as everything came back in the boat and the stack was loaded up once more. A couple of hours later I am very happy to report that we are still blasting along and the miles left to the finish line are dropping away quicker than I had imagined.
I might be soaked to the skin from rain and sea spray, but I don’t mind at all - the sea temperature is pushing 30 degrees and the prospect of a good curry and a cobra beer is only 24 hours away! The last few miles are sure to be the toughest, but given that they may be coming sooner than we thought means smiles all round!
Volvo Ocean Race