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Day 115

By Brian Hancock

It may be a bit of nip and tuck for our friends on Explorer. The breeze is light and they have to get around the corner. It has to be frustrating for Captain Coconut and his crew; so near, yet so far. The nip and tuck may, or may not have been a reference to my late aunt, but I digress. Once they get closer to land they will be away from the big weather systems and find some local conditions, like a sea breeze for instance.

So what happens, especially in summer is that the sun heats up the land, and as the land starts to warm, the warm air rises. As it does it sucks in the colder air from the water and bingo; a sea breeze. It’s not quite as simple as that but every little bit helps. Sometimes the big weather systems fight against their small local friends and you can get a bit of a mishmash (technical term) of weather, but in the end, if there is wind, they will get to Auckland. Right now they are struggling in very light wind doing only 3.6 knots (YB tracker) with 361.8 miles to go. Tough stuff and very frustrating for the team.

Meanwhile Sterna are in similar sunbathing weather as Explorer, but I am guessing that sunbathing is the furthest thing from their minds. They are thinking of the amazing wines that New Zealand have to offer. If you have a bucket list put New Zealand in that bucket; it’s that good and it’s not only about the wine (or the mutton bird and/or pavlova for that matter). It’s simply a wonderful country full of wonderful people. Now they do speak kind of funny, like once when I was there, one Kiwi (very nice chap) asked me if I wanted to come out and sit on his deck, but the way Kiwis say things, it sounded like he asked me if I wanted to sit on his d*ck. But again I digress. This must be annoying for some readers but (ADHD) I can’t help myself.

I will go back to the models tomorrow (can’t wait) but also needed to acknowledge that Ryder Ellis, crew member on Explorer, had his 18th birthday yesterday. So amazing, I mean he could have been hanging around the malls shopping for chicks, but instead he is sailing around the world. Happy birthday and congratulations. You are now old enough to order a pint in the great King and Queen pub in the Hamble when you get back to Southampton.

Funnily enough (I know, I know) but sometimes I can’t help myself. I remember my 21st birthday (at sea). I was the sailmaker on a race from Cape Town to Uruguay. Back then, way back then, we had a hand-cranked sewing machine. I was down below (of course) sewing together our spinnaker that had been shredded in a squall. I was the nipper on board and trying to prove myself and was concentrating very hard when I pushed the flimsy fabric under the needle, and the needle went right through my finger, nails and all. I think that I was so shocked by it all that luckily I didn’t rip my hand away, and the sewing machine left a very neat little stitch in my left index finger. By the way way, and I digress, its the same finger that I use to let other drivers know that they are speeding. We pulled the thread out and I went on sewing but it hurt like a bugger, but as I said I was the nipper and that was that. It took a while for the blood to come off the spinnaker.

So I remember my 21st and I (again) want to wish Ryder a happy belated birthday. Well done mate. You are having the time of your life in the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race and I am wearing my OGR baseball hat in salute to you.


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