Race 3 - Day 10
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Crew Diary - Race 3 Day 10: Cape Town to Fremantle
This morning during the change of watch, comrade Dmitry attacked me: “Benoit, you have to write the blog today!” I said that I was too tired after helming and had to go to bed.”If you don't, I call my buddy Vlad and it might be the start of WWIII!”, Dima replied. So here we are, for the sake of peace, I am writing these notes for our supporters.
Today is Day 10, which is the same as the previous days, meaning on a beat against eastern winds of 20 to 25 knots, and it's cold on deck, very cold :( At least we are getting closer to the Scoring Gate in the hope of grabbing few points on the way :) Btw, this was not as advertised in the Clipper Race brochures; the Southern Ocean is supposed to be cold yes, but beating eastern winds for days? No! We were supposed to surf down the waves with western winds in the Roaring Forties! Anyway, here we are on a slow progress towards Fremantle.
Yesterday as I was reviewing the weather forecast, I saw that we were getting close to the Kerguelen Islands. This is a French territory in middle of nowhere; they must have good stuff (food & beverage) over there! Btw, I am French of origin (American of adoption) so I am always attracted to good French stuff. So I talked to our skipper Wendy in an attempt to convince her to let us have a little rest in the Kerguelen. “Wendo, why don't we stop in the Kerguelen? I have friends there, sure they will give us a good (real) coffee to warm us up and then we can say hi to the penguins!”. “Penguins?” she said; Wendo loves penguins. Then she looked at the chart further to see if that was not too far off our way. No, that's not too far, just a little further south after the Scoring Gate. She looked again and said, “But there is a problem! It is below our ice limit of 45 degree South”. As you can imagine, Wendo gave her veto to the idea of a stop in the Kerguelen in the fear of getting penalty points for crossing the no-go zone. Her competitive spirit must be stronger than her love for penguins...
No espresso before Fremantle then, and no penguins also. That does not mean that we do not enjoy seeing the wildlife here in the Southern Ocean. Yesterday Jo shouted, “Whale, whale! I am sure I saw the tail of a whale here”. Everybody watched but me, who was on helming duty and had to focus on what is coming ahead of us instead of behind us. So no whale watching for me either :( At least I was able to watch a family of Albatrosses flying around us for hours. It is amazing to see these beautiful birds gliding along at few meters of the boat.
After these few words, I am heading to my sleeping bag for a well deserved rest before we cross the gate. Au revoir!
As for the vegetable chopper, we ran into some problems. You know that we are pushing our boats hard to get the best out of them. When we push too hard, things break sometimes. Same goes to vegetable choppers. Jan and Keith were pushing it to its performance limits and broke off a handle. No worries, will use it without the handle – it can still chop as fast.