Ian Walker: Clean at last

Ian Walker: Clean at last

Tuesday March 6 2012 Author: Ian Walker ADOR Location: none selected

I couldn’t bring myself to write a blog for the last two days for two reasons. Firstly we were having a torrid time trying to get round the top of the Solomon Islands for a day, and then we have been having just as bad a time trying to get through our own mini doldrums into the South East trades. All the while this was going on; the boats that were behind - and couldn’t lay the Solomon Islands - were being offered a ‘get out of jail free’ card in the West.

So after sailing so well and pushing hard to get into third we now find ourselves in fifth… but hopefully with a shot still at Camper. The leaders have been able to extend away from the lighter winds to a very impressive lead.

So what has brought me to the keyboard? Well, firstly I feel a lot better after a fresh water shower in a huge rain cloud earlier today – the sight of 11 hairy, smelly guys running around covering themselves in shower gel in the rain was very amusing. Secondly we have just made a nice gain back at Camper and so maybe we still have a chance to convert our Easterly position into gains.

Everyone is also feeling a bit more upbeat now because we have our fraction zero up and are going reasonably fast towards Auckland for the first time in days. A lot of focus is already being put on the Auckland stopover – and how short it is going to be. The shore crews are going to have to really be on their game to turn the fleet around in a couple of days. There will be no time to order and make spares there – everything we need has to be put in action now so any spare time onboard is spent coordinating job lists and parts lists with them. The sailors have to get their heads around the fact that after 25 days straight sailing they will only get one or two days off before taking on the Southern Ocean.

This will be particularly hard on the Kiwis who are looking forward to precious time at home after long stints abroad. Anyway – the best thing we can do on all counts is to get to Auckland as fast as we can.

We still haven’t given up hope of getting there faster than a few boats around us.

Ian Walker

0430 6th March

16 45S 161 55E

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