Well, it’s almost upon us. The big one.
Tomorrow we set sail for a leg that rightly warrants an air of anticipation. The Great Southern Ocean. In three weeks or so we are due to pop up in Austailia and are likely to have a few tales to tell on arrival.
At the crew brief today Sir Robin Knox-Johnston reminded us of the swells we are likely to face. Once he had the full attention of every crew member he went on to talk of the waves on top of the swells. Needless to say we all listened attently as he then highlighted the importance of staying safe and looking out for one another.
After clearing immigration at 8am tomorrow morning it is back to the boat for our final goodbyes. My mum chose her flight home carefully as in her words she doesn’t want to see a speck disappear into the horizon. My brother however will gallantly watch the lines slip soon after midday to our crew anthem, Warriors by Imagine Dragons. All twelve boats will then perform a parade of sail in the bay prior to race start at 3pm. Please do think of us!
With safety our utmost priority we shall not be travelling any further than 44-and-a-bit degrees south of latitude. This will minimise the risk of icebergs and particularly big weather. Don’t be fooled, that is still firmly in the roaring forties!
As per the last leg there will be one scoring gate where the first through will be awarded 2 points and a sprint gate giving the top three vessels the opportunity to pick up further points. Both are marked on the chart above.
Greg quite clearly highlighted in his brief that this race is about preservation, not place. We need to maintain the integrity of our boat and sails for the wealth of points available in the next continent. That said, the podium has our name on it, or so we believe.
As of last night when the skipper and I were chatting to the commodore of the False Bay yacht club, we are now their official boat and proudly fly their club’s pennant.
Sam and I have just finished our packing, had our last dinner kindly cooked by my mum and will shortly be heading to bed. Can you tell it’s our last salad for a while?!
Unfortunately I have a stomach bug, potentially from the water today (I was in a dinghy scrubbing the paint on the side of the boat – a whole different sort of kissing a boy). Hopefully it will settle down so I can keep my sea sickness medicine in and rehydrate ahead of the race. We have three stomach churning days ahead beating into wind as we travel south in strong winds.
Anyway, enough waffle for now. Think of us tomorrow. Any messages of encouragement are welcomed and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org hopefully technology will allow on this leg!
Fair winds to all.
PS. For those at work, I’ve just bumped into Simon Nicklin. Cape Town is proving to be a very small place!