Friday, 27 February 2009
Rain clouds approaching Ericsson 4, in the Doldrums, on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Image copyright Guy Salter/Ericsson 4/Volvo Ocean Race.
by Joca Signorini (trimmer)
Hello from Ericsson 4.
At the moment we are sailing up-wind with 12 knots and flat seas. Shorts and t-shirt conditions. We are heading towards Fiji that is aprox. 400 miles. I've just finished my watch and the night was beautiful with lot of stars.
Today we also saw some whales, one of them, less than a boat length from us. They are beautiful animals and their size is impressive, but my memories are not all nice. During the last Volvo race, when we were doing the qualification with Brasil 1 sailing from Rio to Portugal, we hit one. The boat speed went from 12 knots to zero and I crashed against the main bulkhead inside the boat cracking three ribs. After that we still sailed for 10 days...Lets hope we don’t get any closer - although beautiful, they are a danger to us as we are to them.
Some clouds are still in our way, but nothing compared with yesterday. Another hard day on Ericsson 4. Again we saw a good lead evaporate in just few hours...
Competition is very close. Puma and Ericsson 3 are now just 20 miles from us and Telefónica Blue has made some good gains today. Green Dragon is also making fast runs more to the east of the fleet. Everything is still open for the first scoring gate at latitude 36 south.
Joao Sgnorini onboard Ericsson 4, in the Doldrums, on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Image copyright Guy Salter/Ericsson 4/Volvo Ocean Race.
We've been sailing for 12 days and we still have 8,900 miles to the finish, but the rhythm on board is like we are doing a daily race.
Also today saw us sail over a seamount - so the depth went from unregistered on our equipment (well over several hundred metres) to just 28m of water! Who would have thought it in the middle of the pacific - especially as there is nothing else around - no atolls or reefs? It was ok; we did know it was there!
Today we finished with our Cape Horn bet. My guess was that we will be crossing on March 16th, but I hope I'm wrong and some good winds make us get there earlier...
Volvo Ocean Race