Saturday, 14 March 2009
Jordi Calafat writing the job list, 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 Bouwe Bekking (skipper)
On days like this you are wondering if you couldn’t have chosen another sport to compete in. It has been pouring with rain without mercy all day again. Snow would have been much nicer, as you don’t get so wet.
We are still bumping into the ridge of high pressure all the time, sometimes good breeze, than all of sudden the breeze drops. The easy thing is that we can only choose out of two sails, both furling sails, so the manoeuvres are swift.
The big problem is for the guys who are wearing the diving gloves when we have to do the sail change. You have to take your gloves off, otherwise your functionality goes down. These gloves have rubber seals around the wrists, and are beautifully warm as long they are dry, but a pain in the neck to put on/off. Once off then the problem for them is where to put them, without getting wet or damp. So some are wearing these, while others prefer the neoprene gloves, which are always wet, but always warm.
No complaints of anybody having cold feet, as our so called duck hunting boots are doing a job fantastic. There is although a big mixture in what kind of protection people wear on their heads. The range goes from a normal woven hat, neoprene balaclava, fleece balaclava, Gore-Tex balaclava and so-called seal skin hats and everybody has his own favourite.
So it is upwind again, 24 hours more of this and then we can hopefully turn the ‘corner’ and head towards the Horn, at least it will feel if we are making miles in the right direction.
Volvo Ocean Race