Tuesday, 14 April 2009
A near miss with Ericsson 4, at the start of leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Rio de Janeiro to Boston. Image copyright Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race.
by Guy Salter
Everyone is starting to settle back into the routines onboard - to be honest the boat routine is normal and on land is the oddity as our time ashore in the last few months has been comfortably in the minority.
We are ploughing along now at what seems to be break neck speeds (or at least after the first 28 hrs) 14kts seems like potential passing out / nose bleed speed similar to the first few days that Stephenson's ‘Rocket’ hit the track.
Torben (Torben Grael) commented yesterday evening that he had once sailed the 72 miles from Cabo Frio to Rio in a Star in a lot less time than it had taken us - his day boat madness had only taken 12 hrs and all that the rest of us could think of is ‘why didn’t he just put the boat on its trailer and drive it back!’
Its nice to have the wind again as the inside of the boat is stacked nicely as is the windward rail. The inside of the boat is tidy and clean especially compared with the end of the 40 day marathon. As we approached Rio, the boat looked as if one of those 'make your own' teddy bear stores had been the target of the IRA - the amount of fluff and detritus from the belly button etc would have probably weighed in the tens of kilos. Luckily our smart shore crew decided that to replace the non-skid in the interior was the easier option as most of the 'stuff' was stuck to the grip. Now it’s like being onboard the yacht for its maiden voyage and hopefully everyone will respect the cleanliness and keep it so...at least for the next few days!
We can see a small group of boats – Telefónica Black, Ericsson 3 and Puma are all visible off our leeward port corner and we are all within a few miles of each other - keeping an eye on their relative compass bearings and sail combinations. The breeze is just dropping slightly so it’s time for another change back to the code zero and talk is already of crossing our path from leg one and completing our circumnavigation. Talk of first timers 'complete rounding' rituals are being discussed - so who knows what will happen - the crew need some kind of entertainment as our last equator crossing of the race will go without celebration as we have had no crew changes.
Volvo Ocean Race