Wet, wet, wet
It's a funny thing this yacht racing. From the outside it looks like a very strange water sport where grown men and women subject themselves to discomfort and deprivations harking back to the days of old. Not that I'm saying we endure anything like Shackleton for example (if you ever get the chance, see the I-max film and read the book), but it is beyond the norm in these days and age in most of our cultures.
However, when analysed closer, it is really much more than that. We have a focussed (ok, this is the first leg I have been concentrating on my job) selection of team members who are each one of the best in his specialty area. I wouldn't swap any of our crew (or our blue boat) for any other in this contest and, in this, I include all the shore crew, boat builders, sail makers, riggers etc. who are making this possible. The only problem with having such a good team is that I don't get the chance to take exciting footage of things going wrong - not that I'm complaining though!
Looking at my little area, you'd think that all we do is make dramatic decisions as to where to put the boat. Occasionally it is like that, but mostly it is the subtleties that are important. It is about the small shifts and angles, fine positioning and small gains that make the difference. In past races, dramatic moves were seen as inspired, but with the improvement in the fleet they are seen as risky and are only normally seen as a boat falls behind. Unfortunately, we have been busy covering the fleet for the last few days, so haven't quite made the progress we would like but it is better to be safe than sorry!
On the human front for this email - yes, it is very cold, wet and uncomfortable. Some days working in the nav station definitely has its benefits!
Page three.... a small fire onboard djuice