Hamish Hooper blogs from on board CAMPER
This leg is becoming less enjoyable with everyday.
The torture has returned!
Do we really need to have another ‘test of character’? It seems we do.
The wake up call of silence began my day with dread, very little wind and to make matters worse current against us.
Having worked so hard to get back in the lead, then being slowed up so much and overtaken again is like death by 1000 cuts.
Again we are back on the nervous rollercoaster of snakes and ladders, going from high highs to low lows.
The small hint of good came just after the height of realization that we were getting done over- Puma appeared on our horizon. It’s amazing how just the sight of another boat makes everything not seem as bad as if you couldn’t see them at all.
We spent pretty much the entire day flopping around in less then 5 knots of breeze, Puma remaining in sight, but constantly changing size as we got closer to them and they got further away from us.
It has been like one of those dreams you have when you are running as hard and fast as you can after something, but it’s like running in mud.
The only hard and fast running we want to be doing is direct towards Lisbon with plenty of downwind speed, apparently it is coming, once this big ‘H’ moves over us and a big ‘L’ comes down with plenty of wind.
I think I would make a pretty good weather presenter on the TV after this race, as I get to experience first hand exactly what the lines on a weather map mean.
A big ‘H’ with wide lines around it- this is generally what you want to be in the middle of if you are lying on a beach somewhere- not trying to sail a boat fast.
The one benefit of no wind is a bit of sightseeing, just today we have seen a few turtles, one of which Daryl narrowly missed catching to bring on board for a visit, to which Chuny inquired with one word, “Soup?”
He wasn’t serious, but it was very funny.
Not long after a pod of pilot whales eased past and check us out. Add that to the numerous Portuguese Man-O-War jellyfish drifting by and a pod of Atlantic ‘spinner’ dolphins you have half the cast of Finding Nemo coming to say hello- just no Nemo…but that’s no surprise.
It’s nearly the most sea life we have seen in this whole race in one day. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing- I know that also seeing numerous big plastic bottles floating on by is not a good thing.
So Will tells me he is happy with where we are… I take his word because there is too much going on with current, wind (or lack of) and fronts across the fleet to truly understand the whole picture with any real conviction.
The main thing I understand is the miles lost or gained column on the skeds. And the fact that there are boats in front of us makes me uneasy.
Just bring on the end of this leg, and the end of this torture!
Why would anyone want to be a navigator?
GOLDEN QUOTE: ”We have swapped sides with everyone, from being the southern most boat, fighting to get back up here, now they have all gone back down where we didn’t want to be. I don’t know what’s right, but it’s very interesting.” WILL OXLEY