At the time of publishing this blog we should have just 140 nautical miles to go to complete our epic 5,400nm race from Portimão to Punta del Este. Having raced down past the Canaries, across the Equator (while throwing in an Equator party), through the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer, and down the South American coast to Uruguay, it's enough to take your breath away just thinking about the enormity of the journey undertaken. While still very much racing, with GoToBermuda just 7.7nm ahead of us, a part of our minds is definitely thinking of tall, slender shapes with beads of perspiration gently passing down a golden body...in other words, a beer!
As the miles passed and the beads of the abacus are gently slid from one side to the other (technology is basic on boats) counting the miles down, we were all focusing on the finishing of the race. Little did we know that we were sailing straight into a battle between Zeus and Neptune. With Neptune whipping the seas up and Zeus throwing the most spectacular bolts of lightning into the sea and across the skies, while the contents of olympic size swimming pools were dumped on our heads. We were quick to drop our spinnaker (didn't want Zeus using that as loo roll), the winds rose quickly and the speed of our magnificent sailing machine accelerated like a startled gazelle topping at 18 knots. Fortunately during our Equator crossing we gave suitable gifts, so Neptune looked after us well and cleared a safe onward passage to Punta del Este with plenty of opportunity to witness the amazing show being put on before us.
Unless our gifts to Neptune were delivered to the wrong address or didn't fit, we should be finishing our race sometime on Sunday. I suspect bidding farewell until Leg 2, Race 3 might be tempting fate, so I shall leave that one, but in any event, thank you for following our blogs.
Love and regards from the crew of Imagine my Korea
AQP blog (we accidentally both wrote today):
We have seen some truly splendid, nonsensical and exasperating weather these past 24 hours. Just a short while ago, the anemometer measured a true wind speed of 60.2 knots, in the six hours prior to that it spent time everywhere between 3 and 40 knots, blowing from a full range of directions in the process. It's a fresh puzzle everytime - we see the clouds and we know something is coming, but quite what it will be and for how long it will last is a mystery. Mike and I have been doing six hourly rotations, and I had become accustomed to finding an odd half hour here or there to quietly sit and relax… these moments have disappeared entirely now, as every watch seems to bring at least one major disruption. We clocked up three this afternoon, with three lucky guesses allowing us to respond quickly and escape their clutches with minimal time lost. Earlier this morning none of our answers seemed right, so we had to sit and wait under white sails for something settled.
Everyone has handled themselves remarkably well, working through problems calmly and confidently - both difficult states to maintain whilst riding a 70 foot beast over and through waves and howling winds. After our Code 2 Spinnaker split yesterday (leaving half up the mast and half trawling the South Atlantic), all that passed was 20 minutes of focused recovery work. No gratuitous shouting, flapping or panic. It was a hugely proud and satisfying moment to see everyone pulling together as seasoned veterans. By the same token, it was nothing exceptional - that's the standard these guys have set. We may end up last into Punta del Este, but I'd rather be last with this crew than anywhere else with another.
Estimates are being ventured on our ETA, but as we've just started running northwest before another howler, I think it's safer to just say we'll get there when we get there… Besides, we learned in Portimão that it's still an open race right up to the finish, so I'm more interested in the location of Wavy, Fabian and their GoToBermuda team than our proximity to Punta del Este.
Our onboard reporter, Dani, has just read this and left the following 'Examiner's note: A- media crew still not getting a well deserved shout out'. She's right to say so, having well and truly dug in with this crew above and beyond her job description. Swampy, as she is affectionately known, is to be found all about the boat in daylight hours (when her camera works best). Media duties aside, she is always doing little things for the crew, and is so often in the right place at the right time during an evolution. So, from all of us, a 'well deserved shout-out' to Dani. We will miss you on Leg 2.
All the best from all on board Imagine your Korea,