Monday, 9 March 2009

VOR: PUMA LEG FIVE DAY 23 QFB: received 08.03.09 0125 GMT

Bowman Jerry Kirby on board Il Mostro en route to Rio De Janeiro on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Image copyright Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Rick Deppe

And they're off, for now anyway. Il Mostro is pointed at Cape Horn, sheets are eased and the boat finally gets to do its thing; chew up miles in the ocean. I can't tell you how good it feels to be not going upwind, although the angle we are sailing right now is no more comfortable than if we were.....tipped over, bouncy and very wet.

You probably have a better idea where we are than I do! I just look over to the nav station and see a little green boat in the middle of a big blue ocean, I guess it's a fair representation of the facts.....4000-ish miles to the Horn....and about halfway to Rio. Prior to the start the only way I was able to get my head around the sheer scale of this leg was with a globe! When you follow our route on a globe it soon becomes obvious that we are quite literally sailing halfway round the world in one hit!

Life aboard couldn't be more routine, the guys are just taking it one watch at a time. When they're on watch it's a case of just sailing the fastest angle possible that brings us to wherever we are trying to get to and, this far out in the ocean, we are generally trying to position the boat favourably to future weather system, whilst at the same time making as much ground along the track as possible, its a balancing act.

We seem to be doing OK with supplies, anything we didn't bring enough of ran out ages ago....sugar, spray and wipe, suncream (that might be a problem down the road) .... and we are more than halfway through our twenty food bags, which comes with the added bonus that valuable space on the boat is freed up making life a little more enjoyable. And its about 300kgs that doesn't have to be moved any more.

Volvo Ocean Race

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