Amory Ross on the VOR: Conditions - difficult

Amory Ross on the VOR: Conditions - difficult

Monday November 7 2011 Author: Amory Ross Location: none selected

The upwind pounding on PUMA’s Mar Mostro has continued, and it’s quickly gone from being an exciting introduction, to an annoying nuisance. Down below is an obstacle course of miscellaneous goods, and even walking can prove difficult. All 11 food bags (26-28 kg each), personal gear, hardware, some sails, and people – it’s all in shambles on the high side and it makes finding something you want nearly impossible. If you do find it, by then it’s usually time to tack (a 20 minute process) and all of the gear moves to the other side and it takes another 45 minutes to find it again.

The conditions are exhausting. Sails on the floor, bags in our bunks, us on the sails. Just to get to my computer I had to carefully high-step three significantly larger-than-me individuals. Were it not for the absolute fatigue of being on one of these boats in these conditions, nobody would find time to rest [just now beside me I got a noticeably drained, “I really need to sleep,” from Jono Swain].

With Abu Dhabi’s unfortunate dismasting, there are only five of us left out here and we remain the furthest north, quite a few miles east of the leaders. We’ve been carefully playing the shoreline, opting to sail in flatter seas and setup well for a late approach to the Straights of Gibraltar, which we’ll be passing through sometime tonight. It’s one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and it’s going to be a long and cautious eve. We’ve been sailing in 20-30 knots of wind for the past day or so and that’s supposed to hold until we’re through and out of the Med, when it’s forecasted to drop rapidly. The waves have been short and steep.

We’re all tired, very wet, and only one day into this race. Exactly what I signed up for!

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