Tuesday, 28 April 2009

VOR: TELEFÓNICA BLACK LEG SIX DAY 10 QFB: received 20.04.09 2130 GMT

by Roger Nilson (navigator)

This morning we found Delta Lloyd on the horizon behind us... Not feeling comfortable at all considering that she has been growing bigger and bigger as the day has passed along.

We do everything to squeeze out the last tenths of a knot, but...she is still coming closer. Frustrating! We thought we should be totally occupied with trying to catch the boats in front and suddenly we are busy staying ahead of an older generation boat catching up..

Some better news. After two days of wet, fast sailing, the consistent, fresh north east trade decided to calm down a bit and even the old navigator found pleasure being on deck as the intense, never-stopping spray was gone. Wet clothing came up for drying and it was time for a proper body wash. What a relief after collecting many layers of sweat and salt...! We use the excess water outlet from the water maker as it functions as the perfect shower in the middle of the cockpit. A bit more salty than the ocean water but so much easier than risking losing another bucket over the side in attempts to catch some fast moving water at the transom.

Anybody who has washed will immediately smell the ones who have not. This simple fact has always amazed me. Guess you are getting so used to your own dirty smell that you do not smell the others until you are clean yourself. The sense of smell adapts itself fast...

There is still some 2000 miles to go and I am spending considerable time thinking about different ways how to get closer to the front end of the fleet. Since our unlucky night, the one before last, with considerable ‘down time’, we are fighting to get within striking distance to Puma, Ericsson 3 and Ericsson 4.

The Azores High has had enough of us and is handing us over to another High, forming south east of New Foundland. Unfortunately that development does not create the so called ‘Horse Latitudes’, the area of light winds between the trades and the westerlies, dominating the higher latitudes. We would like to see a full stop at the front end of the fleet but it does not look like it right now, even if there is a tendency of compression of the fleet... Still anything can happen, there’s a long way to go.....

Volvo Ocean Race

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