Fear is a familiar voice...
“Fear is a familiar voice but knowledge dispels fear” (D Gandy).
We’re deep into our third week since Race Start for Leg 3. Previously, heading into the infamous Southern Ocean, I had so many uncertainties rolling around in my mind and fear was certainly one that loomed large. However, the WTC Logistics team is an eclectic, diverse bunch that is bonded by a common thread to be kind and look after each other. I could not wish for better.
Currently, we sit just shy of 40° South (latitude), having weathered some pretty brutal conditions over the past three to four days which inevitably takes its toll when sleep is constantly grabbing at your eye-lids. Still, the contrast today couldn’t be more stark… blue skies, with wisps of white clouds against it as we transition between weather systems and the impending low pressure which promises to deliver another batch of sucker punches to deal with.
It’s amazing how you adjust to see 8-10m seas and tsunami-type walls of near freezing dark ocean water, as normal. These walls are so impressive as they approach from behind and raise the boat like a sky-scraper elevator lifts an office full of workers to the top floor. Perched at the top of the wave, we all hold our breath to see if the boat has enough speed and momentum to watch the bow drop and gravity activates its tractor-beam to catapult us down the 30ft of shear wall of water like an oversized longboard in Hawaii. Or the down-ramp of a 70ft table-top landing ramp from the X-Games. Wheeeeeeeee! What a rush!
Other news: Hanky-panky… another set of hanks give up the ghost under the constant strain of the headsails. Surfin’ 040°… never thought I’d be surfing walls of water in the pitch black. There is a beauty in the noise which is similar to surfing the powder on a snowboard. Awesome.
A big shout out to the kids at Silverhill School. There are lots of stories to tell on our return that I hope to recount for you. And, last but not least, a shout out to my lovely wife without whom this little adventure would not have been possible… I love you! Out.