Leg 1, Day 11
15 November 2011
Amory Ross, MCM,
PUMA Ocean Racing
Things are heating up around here, literally and figuratively. We’re currently about 50 miles from exiting the Doldrums and we have seen nothing of the sail-flapping drift off from past races. It has been wet, windy, and frenzied, and credit goes to Tom Addis for staying patient and calculated through it all.
After a couple days of easy sailing, we were unprepared for some of the stronger winds we first encountered yesterday afternoon, and that set us back on our competitors for sure. When we entered this region of “lost days” sometime last night, Telefónica was almost abeam of us. Since then we’ve recovered nicely and have regained our southerly position, but progress hasn’t been without its drama. Naturally unpredictable weather has done its best to keep us busy, and tonight has been one of squall dodging and sail changing; everyone’s tired.
It has also become uncomfortably hot below deck. We smell bad enough as it is, but we now have the equatorial heat and humidity to make things worse. Clothes won’t dry, sleeping is hard, and life is generally less relaxed. The fans are on and the shirts are off!
The winds have just eased slightly to 13 knots, we’ve re-stacked the weight forward, and everybody’s settling back into the current watch schedule; hopefully there will be a few hours without disruption so we can play a bit of catchup.