Tuesday, 17 February 2009
Ericsson 4 hit rough weather on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Image copyright Guy Salter/Ericsson 4/Volvo Ocean Race.
by Horacio Carabelli
It was good to keep going in the race and, for the start, Qingdao showed us what we were looking for during our stay, a beautiful day with clear sky, where we could appreciate the mountains and landscape behind the city, excellent conditions for the spectators as well. While we struggled to go out in the light wind we could see Ericsson 3 fighting to get in - good to have them back in the race!
During the evening, the wind picked up and by midnight we were blasting through the Yellow Sea in the high 20's, really cold on deck with gusts over 30-knots, I was already using all the equipment I have prepared to go deep in the South! (A good test so I can improve it for when we are there).
By the time we were abeam of Korea, we passed hundreds of fishing boats that were some times trawling in groups, some groups we passed to windward and some to leeward depending on what course we could steer, but there was one particular pair where we decided to pass between them. We noticed that both of them were trawling with long cables from their transoms. Too late to take any action and we just hoped that they were not connected!! A moment of scare and tension when you think how strong the cables must be, or how much the load will be on the yacht if we get into something like it, making 25-30knots!!! Ten seconds later we could breathe again and keep on going, looking for the next group.
Approaching the southern Islands of Japan, we had the relief of the high temperatures of the current, pretty amazing - probably hitting 20deg C which makes it a real pleasure to be hit by the constant spray and tons off water coming over the deck, at least this makes the second night a bit less stressful.
The wind has dropped quite a bit which makes the sailing pretty nice and we are still making good speed. If it's something good about this leg is that at least we are going home to Brazil. We have even stuck a picture of Corcovado and the Christ on the forward watertight bulkhead, just in front of the heads, so when you spend those precious moments you could say that we are looking forward to get there!!
Volvo Ocean Race