Friday, 22 May 2009

VOR: ERICSSON 4 LEG SEVEN DAY 5 QFB: received 20.05.09 1642 GMT

by Phil Jameson (bowman)

Who would have thought it would be this close?

Telefónica Black and ourselves are absolutely neck in neck, running along with masthead gennakers on.

The guys on their boat have just completed a backdown right in front of us. It's not hard to see why. There is plenty of debris in the water and a good lookout is required so as not to plough into anything.

The other thing we have to avoid, are turtles! We must have seen 7 or 8 of them in the last four hours. They are a reasonable size too. I'm sure they are doing everything to get out of our way also. It sure would hurt having one of our rudders touching you at 18 knots.

The boat seems to be going well. We are slowly getting ourselves prepared for the strong breeze that is forecast later on. We try to avoid any 'downtime', because of the fleet being so competitive, you just can't afford to be slow ever.

Last night and this morning was rather cold. The guys have had every stitch of clothing on in an effort to stay warm. There is no shortage of guys wanting to grind on the pedestals in those conditions. Anything to keep the blood pumping. Ryan Godfrey and I have had some very cold adventures on the foredeck so far. I can't describe the feeling when the six degree water hits you in the face like a fire hose! It's like having an ice cream headache that you can't get rid of! Oh well, we're the idiots that signed up for this!

Temperatures are on the up a bit now, so that’s good. Everything else seems to be rumbling away okay. The boys are all happy so far and are all looking forward to drinking a nice big Guinness in Ireland.

Better go and get some shuteye.

from Guy Salter...

Been a lot of wildlife in the last few hours, as Phil describes above we have seen eight turtles in the last two hours and I have been trying to film them, but as soon as you press the record button and wait for the red light to say all things are go than you have passed them by.

As I came up from below after filming from the spreader cams I was told I had missed the Whale - we haven’t seen too many and this one passed between the two yachts just a couple of hundred metres away. I asked if anyone had picked up the camera and filmed it - but no one had - even though I had left everything ready. That’s life I guess! There used to be an advert in the UK for Kit Kat that showed a man waiting at a zoo wall to film a Panda - as soon as he had his chocolate break the Panda came out of hiding and was dancing. As soon as the man looked back the performance was over. That is exactly how I feel some of the time - as soon as you back is turned........

Plus just heard we have had some dolphins whilst I’ve been writing this - so much for my look outs!

Volvo Ocean Race

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