It becomes a routine now, watch after watch we live in this carbon shell. We don’t realise it but we all have our little personal items happening. I noticed this the other day. I for one hate the mornings so get up as late as humanly possible to the sunrise, its not everyday you get a good one but it’s an offense to sleep in if you miss it.
I noticed Tom Johnson spends a considerable amount of time on personal grooming. The other night after his free haircut he asked Nico if he’d help with tidying it up a bit, Nico’s response “you’ve got to be kidding me right!”. A rookie mistake by Tom, closer to Cape Town would have been a much wiser move. Salty, by no means a man that needs a huge amount of sleep, gets up early every watch. He really doesn’t like to be rushing on his morning commute. I also have the young guys hang out by my galley, fishing daily for what chocolate I may have left over. It’s like feeding sea lions…no tricks though!
On the race front, Wouter and Chris now spend a lot of their time looking at the new weather models. It’s complex, very complex. We're close to the St. Helena High (South Atlantic High), a semi-permanent high pressure. Basically for those that are not very meteorologically advanced like myself, it’s an area of no wind and great sunbathing opportunities. Neither of these we need or want. It’s all about how we sail around this area, which is in a direct path to our destination Cape Town. We could sail close to it and have a shorter route, we could sail further south, longer but faster. The risks are the risks, Chris and Wouter will weight up the options in the next 48hrs and then it’s time to pull the trigger and go for it.
I was asking Chris what his thoughts were on the discussions with Wouter: “There’s so much more racing to go, I guess we thought it was unstable before here but I think it could be even more unstable between here and Cape Town”
Wouter tries his best to explain to me: “We are having to pick our way between no mans land and the southern ocean with clouds of uncertainty hanging over us. Between the moody low over Rio and the fickle old winds of the St. Helena high, it’s a game of snakes and ladders with no where to hide”.
So there you have it folks: Clouds of uncertainty! I can tell you now with full certainty that we are enjoying this race, and we will enjoy the next week’s challenge and push ourselves more and more.
More on the St Helena / South Atlantic High here
To learn more about Team Vestas Wind in the Volvo Ocean Race, #jointherace here.