Sunday, 22 March 2009

VOR: TELEFÓNICA BLUE LEG FIVE DAY 35 QFB: received 20.03.09 2223 GMT

Telefonica Blue passes the Malvinas (Falkland Islands), on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Qingdao to Rio de Janeiro. Image copyright Gabriele Olivo/Telefonica Blue/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Tom Addis (navigator)

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything. For the last few days in the Southern Ocean, it’s been a very basic lifestyle onboard. Eat, sleep, sail and maintain the critical functions. Now around Cape Horn into flatter, warmer water, life has developed somewhat and we are looking for the more detailed things in life such as the exact species of birds flying around us, catching up on minor jobs and most importantly, providing a continuous commentary of the water temperature as it climbs (13.6 at 2156Z 20th March).

We rounded Cape Horn yesterday, a childhood dream finally realised for me for sure. In our ‘lantern rouge’ position, it was great that we could gybe in and spend some quality time there without the stress of losing hard-earned miles to a chasing pack.

I’m not a bloke of many words but admit to being even more lost for words than normal for a few hours there. I went even quieter after smoking the customary Cuban cigar – I haven’t felt so crook in a long time. It’s a big one when you round Cape Horn, take up smoking and quit smoking all in the same day. Thanks to Gabri (Gabriele Olivo MCM) for the event planning including some homemade Grappa from his dad – fantastic!!

With the Southern Ocean ticked off, we are starting to develop our jury rig a bit more since much of the remaining distance is upwind. We are trying to sort out a way to get a jib up and we have added a bit more macramé to the back of the rig after losing both checkstays last night.

Our backup system that we had in place held well, and a development of this is now the primary system – I’m starting to lose track of all the versions of our setup now after losing the forestay over two weeks ago off New Zealand! It’s actually pretty neat and simple at the moment, but let’s see what happens next and what else gets employed to hold the thing up!! Heath Robinson would be proud of us.

Every two days, we seem to have a period where we sail away from the mark for two hours to fix something with the rig. Xabi (Xabier Fernandez) has just reminded me to factor this in to the routing for tomorrow.

Volvo Ocean Race

No comments: