Race 3 - Day 10
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Crew Diary - Race 3 Day 10: Cape Town to Fremantle
With any great journey into the wilderness, be it the ocean or the mountains or just the great outdoors, there is an element of romanticism involved. Perhaps it's the appeal of simpler times, or the need to do something more primal. Perhaps the average crew member just doesn't have enough hardship or adventure in their lives, so we step outside our reality just to check we can handle it.
Ask any of the leggers doing the Southern Ocean why they chose it, and the answer is likely to be: "Well, it's the Southern Ocean isn't it." It certainly is.
Sir Robin called it the watery Himalayas at the crew briefing, a veiled description of the great waves the ocean is known for, and appealing to the adventurer in us all. However, the weather and the ocean do not care about our desires or our expectations, and as Mike Tyson said, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."
The current reality on Dare To Lead is repeated punches in the mouth. Days on end of beating upwind, battering through the waves and trying to live at 45 degrees is no fun, but is our experience. The angle is the killer; everyday tasks such as sleeping, cooking, dressing, and using the bathroom become ordeals. Comfort is eroded bit by bit until there is little light left.
But as many blogs will have stated, life onboard is about balance. For every period of difficulty there is a moment to cling onto, even if the ratios do not stack up well.
Port Watch has taken a shine to the albatrosses, and I think they like us too, although they refuse to admit it. They continue to undertake nonchalant fly-bys, clearly interested, but with a disconcerting lack of eye contact. Never buy a used car from an albatross.
There is one giant in particular who glides in off the starboard side of the boat, and just hangs in the air, no flapping required. It's so big that it looks like a seal with wings and a beak, but against the crashes of waves on boat and wind whistling across the deck, it's a picture of serenity. I'd like to think Fleetwood Mac wrote the song Albatross while sailing across the ocean, as they capture the gracefulness of the bird perfectly, although they'd have had to ignore the sound of 20 swearing sailors in the background too.
All onboard looking forward to jacket potatoes for lunch, to changes in the wind, and of course, to Freo.