Wednesday, 28 January 2009
The Green Dragon crew brave the storms, on leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Singapore to Qingdao, China. Image copyright Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race.
by Ian Walker
Another hard 24-hours in which we managed to get the storm sails down and race sails up as the wind dropped below 30-knots and the waves eased off.
We are still limiting our speed to reduce the slamming motion of the bow in the waves. We are also nursing the mainsail which is in tatters - I am not sure how many more times we can reef and unreef it without it splitting in half.
It was a very bumpy night as we rode the Kuro Shio or 'black tide' North against the prevailing winds and today I decided enough was enough.
Our repair to the bow was deteriorating with all the slamming, so we stopped the boat for a few hours to add some more material to the repair. I am very happy with the result. Unfortunately, as we re-hoisted the mainsail to get going, the wind totally disappeared! We are now sitting in three knots of wind and three-metre waves - enough to destroy any sails.
This is incredibly frustrating as we know there is good weather awaiting us in the North if we can get there. The reality of maybe up to another week at sea is dawning on us and we are starting to economise. Already gas, power, some food and loo roll are being rationed!
This leg is a war of attrition and we will keep fighting until we have no other options. I was close to pulling into Taiwan today when I saw the further damage to the bulkhead, but now we will keep going - I am happy the boat is safe. Singapore to Qingdao leg four hasn't beaten the Dragon yet!
Volvo Ocean Race