by Tom Addis (navigator)
We are finally in breeze and angles where our handicap doesn’t show any more. Downwind.
Its a massive relief to have some pace on again, but it still hurts to look at the scheds at how far behind we are due to the amount of upwind we had to do extremely slowly with our reduced sail inventory and several stops to refine our jury setup.
Long way to go yet though. We are in different breeze from the leaders so have quite a different set of options open to us between here and the second ice gate. Will see what we can do with those.
But hey, don’t feel sorry for us. Spare a thought for the poor little fish, all of 50mm long by 8mm across, who got jammed in our paddlewheel (which measures our speed through the water). What would be the odds of being something that small going for a casual swim in the great expanse of the Southern Ocean only to get your head stuck in a whizzing paddlewheel which probably only measures 10mm across moving at 15kts through the water? His life wasn’t completely wasted though, David (David Vera/ESP) found him delicious.
We had a near miss with a whale just on sunrise this morning within a minute or so of hoisting our A3 spinnaker. Would have done a lot more damage to each other than the ‘fish incident’ for sure – and probably not as tasty (or politically correct) for David either. Just like when we were racing through logs and other debris coming into the Malacca Straits in leg three, we are all very relieved that all these obstacles disappear at night time......
Volvo Ocean Race