Sunday, 22 March 2009

VOR: TELEFÓNICA BLUE LEG FIVE DAY 37 QFB; received 22.03.09 0819 GMT

Simon Fisher, Pablo Arrarte and Mike Pammenter sailing at sunset, on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Qingdao to Rio de Janeiro. Image copyright Gabriele Olivo/Telefonica Blue/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Bouwe Bekking (skipper)

We are ‘lucky’, as we have tonight a breeze very close to being in the right range of our J4 jib. The last 48 hours we have been sailing in the so-called no-mans-land, as we couldn’t have the right jib up, meaning sailing only at around 85% of our optimum. So even though it is a bumpy ride, we are making ok progress and the performance numbers are better, even though we are still on the wind. Within a day from now the breeze will start to lighten off, but lift which means less water over the deck and probably better progress, as we can hoist our big code 0.

Two new nicknames have appeared: SiFi (Simon Fisher) has turned into Sergej, as he starts looking like a Russian with his big dark beard, and Jordi (Jordi Calafat) into Rat, not sure where the last one came from. For sure over the next few days more names will get invented.

Jono (Jonathan Swain) nearly went nuts this evening, when he found out that somebody has eaten his chocolate bar. He has been going on about it the entire night watch, but it brought out some good stories as well. During previous races the snack department was very small, and the crews way more focused on their part, so some really funny accusations happened between people, so we highlighted a few and had a good laugh.

We just came off watch and stood with Xabi (Xabier Fernandez) looking at our PLC box and all wiring, and both thinking the same. It is amazing all our electrical installations have been holding up so well in nearly 100% humidity, thanks to the guys in Sydney, who have done a remarkable job again and of course to Matt and Eduardo who keep an eye on everything during the stopovers. Where would we be without electronics? It could be fun to sail a leg without anything, and to see how we all can cope with that.

Volvo Ocean Race

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