by Bouwe Bekking (skipper)
We have now nearly passed the last group of small islands of Fiji, and soon we are back in lonely mode, just us and the big ocean. Even though we did not like to sail between the islands, it gave us no other option, and it was nice change of scenery. But we are still in it, and haven’t lost too much ground to the teams in the east. Actually we did very well compared with Puma, who was well over three hours ahead of us once we entered the islands, and we reduced that deficit back to two hours. The stacking of the 3500 kg of gear gave our legs, back and arms a good workout. I don’t know how many times today we shifted it from side to side, when it was necessary to tack for yet another reef.
Now it is just after midnight, just got rained by a heavy rain squall, and another one is lurking on the horizon. Went down to observe the radar and it looks like it is getting bigger and bigger. It will be again a fine line of either hanging on to the big sail, or make a change sail change, which most likely will have to be done again after the squall is over. Each cloud is still different.
I have a quick peek in the bunks, the off watch has ‘passed’ out, not much sleep for anybody in the last 20 hours, but now back on a steady course, I hope for them that we don’t have to wake them up, but if we change sails, no mercy for anybody.
The first two weeks are nearly behind us, and still a very long way to go, the outlook in the south is still not so flash. I might be in for a new personal record, for the amount of days at sea in one stretch, good to know that we brought plenty of food with us.
Volvo Ocean Race