Wednesday, 25 February 2009

VOR: TELEFÓNICA BLUE LEG FIVE DAY 11 QFB: received 24.02.09 0225 GMT

by Simon Fisher (strategist/helmsman)

I think I mentioned the other day that it sounded crazy that we were all looking forward to the doldrums. Well it soon became apparent that if we didn't get lighter winds soon then everyone was going to go crazy. A week of wet blast reaching was more than enough and, as the week wore on, some of the antics on board got more and more bizarre!! I won't go into details but suffice to say it was quite amusing on deck watching what people were doing to keep themselves entertained. Singing, exercise routines.. You name it... all in the relentless spray.

Anyway, we have all managed to escape with our sanity, just, as yesterday the winds finally eased, the sun came out and the boat started to dry out a little.

Yesterday afternoon the deck rather resembled a Laundromat as opposed to a race yacht as every piece of available space was dedicated to drying clothes. This was followed by a frantic tidy up as the first of the afternoon rain showers approached attempting to undo all of the previous hours drying!

The lighter winds have also given us opportunity to fix up the boat a little, and our guest star from the black boat, David Vera, has proven himself to be the Spanish version of MacGyver, having fixed everything on the list almost quicker than people can spot the problems!

The final benefit of the softer breeze has meant that, finally, we have also been able to get some fresh air downstairs and, as a result, everything smells much fresher. It was starting to get a little bit hard on the nose at times, especially with everything damp and all the hatches closed to keep water out. One crew member was even accused of smelling like an 'Elephant'! However, the most unusual and perhaps off-putting smell to come out of the hatch the other night was the overpowering waft of cologne as someone tried to freshen themselves up - trust me this was even more horrible than any of the farm animal smells that may have been mentioned in previous days!

Cleaning and fixing aside, we are continuing to go well and have been chasing down the leaders in front, slowly but surely. It seems to be something of a drag race at this stage so it is with great pleasure I have been trimming and driving every few hours contributing to making the boat go fast through the water, I am certainly enjoying my change of role onboard and, funnily enough, since the sun has come out I haven't been missing the computer at all!

Volvo Ocean Race

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