Thursday, 21 May 2009

VOR: TELEFÓNICA BLUE LEG SEVEN DAY 5 QFB: received 20.05.09 0916 GMT

All the boats are very close to each other, Iker Martinez is checking Puma out with the prismatic. Image copyright Gabriele Olivo/Telefonica Blue/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Bouwe Bekking (skipper)

We have experienced tremendous changes in wind speed and wind direction in the last 24 hours. This is because we are sailing in area where warm (Gulf Stream) water meets the Labrador Current. Trick seems to be to find the warmest spell of water - the warmer the water, the better the air is mixing to the surface.

Today we saw Delta Lloyd tacking only 1.5 miles to weather of us, but half an hour later she gained about three miles more to windward, just having a tad more pressure than us.

We bit the bullet and tacked off, leaving PUMA with whom we have been so close for a long time - alone. The guys ahead have gained, sailing into more pressure.
We had some close encounters with massive whales, which surfaced within a couple of metres of us and we sailed right through a school of pilot whales, luckily no contact.

We have been reading with great amusement how cold some crews on the other boats are. It is nice to sit here just with shirt in a temperature of around 20 degrees - you sleep well, never feeling cold. The heater is just magic. It means as well that when going on deck, you don't have to have so many layers on, most of the guys run one thin layer of thermals, and one thicker on top, so still plenty of spare kit in the duffel bag.

Volvo Ocean Race

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