Leg 5, Day 5
23 March 2012
Amory Ross, MCM, PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG
LOCATION: Middle of nowhere, deep south, day 1
BOATSPEED: 34 KTS
WINDSPEED: 23 KTS
DISTANCE TO CAPE HORN: 2,900 miles
It’s blowing 35 knots and our Mar Mostro is zigzagging around the ocean, the very big ocean, like a toy boat in a bathtub. I’ve never seen waves this big, and according to the guys that have been here before, they’re half what they could be (Southern Ocean waves circle the planet with nothing to stop them, so it’s at least believable!).
One second we’ll be doing 30 knots through the water, the next, 15, and the transition period between those two speeds is almost instantaneous. Guys are literally flying out of the bottom of their bunks and if you’re not holding onto something at all times you could find yourself doing the superman slide across the deck or through the interior. Not fun, or safe. Imagine standing in the bed of your bud’s pickup truck while he’s doing 40 down a bumpy road, then have him pull the e-brake. Oh yeah, it’s winter and it’s raining, too.
Just anything in these conditions takes three times as long as normal, things like typing for example. One key at a time because your head and the keyboard are in a constant state of disagreement, vision and coordination never quite aligning well enough for any degree of efficiency. Or cooking. Trying to fill the kettle with water from the tap while it literally ping-pongs off the sides of the sink is almost easier than trying to pour the boiling water in the pot 45 minutes later. I’d say it’s 50/50…half in, half out. So you have to do it twice, maybe three times.
You get the gist! It’s cold, it’s wet, living is tough, surviving is rough. But we’re having fun, going fast, and looking forward to another week of this before the Horn!