Good morning OneDLL fans! It is sailing day 13 and there is just over 320 miles to go before we reach our way point just outside of Cape Town. We are currently making about 12 knots so hopefully we will be in in the early afternoon tomorrow if all goes to plan. As I get closer to the end of this leg, it is only natural I suppose that I start to compare this race to the last race. So what are the differences?
Well, for those of you who follow our blogs carefully, you may think they are somewhat less exciting with far fewer dramas and kitemares. This is partly due to the strategy of following the 15 knot wind contour around the high and keeping the yacht in champagne conditions. However almost all the praise must lay with the crew. This leg, the old hands quickly and efficiently and without guidance from me, showed the new hands what the ropes were so that this leg we have executed gybes, peels, hoists, drops and changes with do dramas and no damage whatsoever. Touch wood!
We have also been fast. We had a bit of a nightmare with a specific OneDLL wind hole that cost us approximately 25 to 30 miles but the crew remained determined and kept the boat moving. We have overtaken many of the competition twice now!
The biggest difference must however I think be the laughter. Now, I am often in a better mood due to the efforts of our mothers and victualler, Leg 1, 2, 3 and 7 crew member Lizzy Fitzsimmons. I am often over fed and due to the progress the crew have made, often have had tonnes of sleep. This morning when I did a night watch I swear the watch said, "Olly, it’s dark and a bit wet, we have got this. Why don't you go back to your bunk? By the way the wind is down a touch and it has veered more to the south so we were going to shake out a reef. Put the kettle on your way down".
The truth is that they are exceedingly capable and most of the time they do have it! The laughter this leg has been nearly nonstop as the crew truly gel and become one. We are no longer a team of individuals being careful around each other, but a team completely comfortable and happy in each other’s company. As this natural evolution has occurred, it has really made life on board very easy. The vessel moves forward, with miles falling away like the regular ticks of a clock. In the past I used to have to bring up lots of things as a crew that we needed to improve on operationally. Now all I really do is brief the crew on the weather and our progress.
Well that’s all from me for now. As ever, I hope you have an excellent Friday!
3, 2, OneDLL