Leg 5, Day 10
28 March 2012
Amory Ross, MCM, PUMA Ocean Racing
LOCATION: Middle of nowhere, deep south, day 6
BOATSPEED: 24 KTS
WINDSPEED: 31 KTS
DISTANCE TO CAPE HORN: 957 miles
Roaring Forties, check. Furious Fifties, check. Screaming Sixties? Ohhhhh so close! We got as far as latitude 59, just one degree shy of 60 South, but we are finally on our way back north after making the first jibe in weeks. Our new heading takes us to the northwest towards Cape Horn, and the elusive miles until our rounding should start diminishing rapidly. No sooner, too, because it’s still cold and getting colder (recurring blog theme?)…
It never ceases to amaze me, the acclimatization process on these boats. After spending so much time on starboard tack the body becomes comfortable living that way, 28-degrees of heel, right shoulder outboard when you sleep, right foot higher than the left when walking forward, and vice versa when walking aft. You have your memorized handholds and foot braces, and your mind and body are generally used to the boat being that way; you know where things are and you subconsciously move with confidence.
But when that life changes, as it does after a tack or a gybe, it’s like learning to walk all over again. Everything is suddenly the opposite as you remember it, and you find yourself reaching for things that are no longer there. It’s a struggle to get your bearings, especially when blasting down waves at 32 knots, in the dark, as we are right now. Fun!
Groupama is still 30-to-50 miles ahead, depending on the sched and swing of momentum, and it looks like it will be a fun drag race to the Horn, at which point things might get interesting for the approach to Brazil. But we’re still here living the Southern Ocean life, one day at a time, and until we’re free of the heavy weather that will remain priority numero uno. Latest Puma vids here.
Meanwhile, here is the latest from Telefonica:
Telefónica the boat which announced a pit stop in Ushuaia for repairs yesterday, is currently favouring the northernmost position of the three frontrunners. Iker Martínez and crew are at 53º South, whilst “Groupama” and “Puma” are at 56º S and 57º S respectively. The water temperature is currently at around 5ºC.
“The boat is doing well,” said skipper Iker Martínez in a telephone link from on board this morning. “We’re able to do some good sailing but we don’t want to push any faster because we’re worried that it may cause further damage. We just want to keep sailing and making up the miles to Cape Horn.”
The latest estimates put the crew of “Telefónica” at the cape in four days’ time, on approximately the first of April. The plan is to round Cape Horn and then head for the port of Ushuaia.