Tuesday, 10 May 2011

VOR: CAMPER's Qualifying Sail Day 2

Qualifying sail, Day 2. Image copyright Hamish Hooper.

by Hamish Hooper

On the way south I got to experience the violent banging, crashing & sickness of 40 knots on the nose. Today I get to experience the frustration, the monotonous boredom of zero knots.

For sure this is lovely weather to be on a cruise ship, but not so much on a Formula 1 ocean racing boat doing its best to sail 2000 miles. This could be a long journey......

I get the impression that the extending length of this journey is quickly dawning on the guys judging by today’s conversations on deck. It started early at sunrise with the subject of marriage, very strange I know, but there is always a lot of topics to discuss with no wind. (Don’t worry wives & girlfriends, its all good!)

Of course most of the conversation of the day is about ways to make the boat go faster in wind that isn’t really there. Lots of theories, lots of experiments, still very little wind. Worth a try though, and worth doing something rather than nothing. Like stacking and restacking sails on deck and everything else down below – including my bunk. I’m uncertain if I will have it to sleep in tonight.

As you would expect in quiet times, food is a big topic of conversation. Speaking of which, I think we have a mouse onboard that likes stealing lollies.
My suspicions are that it’s Spanish..

I think food, and everything there is to talk about in relation to food, was the basis of a good few hours of chat. I love talking about food but knew we had been discussing it for too long when it was suggested I would be good on Masterchef. I couldn’t imagine anything worse. I guess it’s a good sign that they are starting to like my freeze-dry preparation.

1450: No wind

1500: 15 knots from the NW – just as Will had predicted – how foolish of us to begin doubting him only moments before.

And so just like that, in the blink of an eye, everything changes. We have good breeze, up to 20 knots – even though it’s from in front of us we are making good speed and so if it continues we arrive home on schedule.

I guess that makes all of the conversations throughout the day pointless... but definitely worthwhile.

CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand
Volvo Ocean Race