Survival mode

Conditions have still not abated for Orange

Monday March 25th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Nick Moloney reports from on board:

As you know we have been getting pasted over the past few days....very difficult sea conditions to say the least. I cannot remember it being like this at any stage in the Whitbread Round the World Race. I am still having to type wth one hand as the other is to hold the screen open on the computer. anyone who knows my level of typing skill will have an idea how long this mail will have taken to write.

Our poor boat has been copping a hammering throughout this storm, the amount of water that has crossed our decks has been amazing. this whole scenario
developed very quickly and has been so consistently rough. we have been trying to preserve ourselves and our orange home but the seas have been unco-operative.

To hove too in such a course, in such a location was disappointing. We had very little option. We have become the meat in a system sandwich. The initial low that is creating the trouble and that passed us several days a ago has slowed and has given birth to another small but deep depression. while a high moving in from the south has compressed the isobars thus giving us constant strong winds. We have been working on trying to get south lately and in the past hour have begun to fell the effect of the high. We had been doing speeds not in excess of 12kts due to the take off and bone jarring landing, but are now in the high teens.

I keep saying to the lads that for every tough day at sea there are at least five glamours in return. Well right now we are ready to cash in. It's been very wet and last night began to get very, very cold. Our watch is doing 30 minute rotations at the helm for our four hours in the elements. we have managed to keep eating well but today Vlad and I managed to trash the pasta for lunch which hasn't done moral any good. never said I could cook.

The noise in the leeward hull at the communication centre right now is incredible. The pitch of the sea breaking over the hull is deafening. I keep getting throw out of arms reach of the computer.

Many birds are following us now....not sure if they are curious of waiting for us to perish so they can swoop in for a feed. We need the table to turn for us out here otherwise this is going to be a long and dangerous tour.

I was getting a bit down about our progress yesterday, laying about whilst we parked in 45kts and I received a mail from my sister and my niece. I haven't had time to reply due to the conditions but it really made my day and lifted my spirits. It's amazing how much a few words of encouragement and news from home can change your world. bearing onto oz...i feel like I've been away too long

We are all complaining about the conditions but it really is special to see such fury. whilst heaving too the sea was incredible. completely blown out and chaotic. Visions that you keep stored away in your memory forever.


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