Monday, 2 March 2009
Sunset onboard Telefonica Blue, on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Qingdao to Rio de Janeiro. Image copyright Gabriele Olivo/Telefonica Blue/Volvo Ocean Race.
by Simon Fisher
We had a tough night last night, as darkness closed in on us and, as the islands of Fiji slowly disappeared into the distance, the wind became light and our boat speed slowed.
It seemed like cloud after cloud got in our way last night, although none of them brought much rain or vicious squalls, the wind shifts and the calms that followed were enough to ensure that the scheds were not good and the others gained a little around us. Sail changes and constantly re-shuffling the gear for the ever- changing wind made for a tiring night and I was happy to collapse into my bunk shortly after day break. Fortunately, things are a little more stable now and we are going well again.
In fact this afternoon has been quite the opposite phenomenon with the clouds, usually we are forced to watch them growing, expanding, raining and threatening to envelop us, however this afternoon the sky has been clearing. Each of the massive clouds that looked as if they may have been a problem fizzled out in front of us as if a corridor of blue sky was opening up to let us pass.
The reality however is that the clouds are disappearing as the barometer rises and we approach a ridge of high pressure which will bring lighter winds and a big wind shift. This may not be all bad though and may once again open up opportunities on our rivals who are at present working down towards our line.
Life on board continues to be relatively easy, frustrating light winds aside of course. The sun has been shining and the seas have been flat and we even had the pleasure of celebrating a birthday today. Tom (Tom Addis) turned 39 and with it out came a small bottle of wine and some macadamia nuts, a present from his family... A small sip of wine was a treat to the palette after water maker water for so many days that for sure!
Volvo Ocean Race