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Day 84

By Brian Hancock

Here, I speak from experience. A few weeks into a Southern Ocean leg the locker room smell starts to permeate everything from the freeze dried beef bolognese to, well you know what I mean. Everything. There are no washer and dryers on board and so…

Well anyway, life is good on the open ocean for the McIntyre OGR. All the boats are cooking along like a souffle on a Monday morning. I think if I was the crew I would be complaining and asking for my money back. Part of the fun of the race is getting a good thrashing by the weather gods. Seems like they have been having a good time like a holiday in Devon, or the Cotswolds, or Cape Cod for that matter. (I lived there for a while – nice place).

It looks like Ms Tabarly might just come up trumps (I can barely type that name) after all. There is a trench ahead of Translated 9 and Maiden. Spirit of Helsinki is also going to feel the pinch. Let’s just see how it all plays out. As I have said before, if you like chess, you will like yacht racing.

Triana, with skipper Jean d’Arthuas at the helm has found a fast lane and is leading the Adventure Class and doesn’t that sound great. Leading in Adventure.

Speaking of adventure, after the Bedford truck cra*ped out in Kalgoorlie. It was around midnight so i went and took a nap on a dirt hill and woke to a gnarly dog barking at me. At the end of the leash was a crazy eyed guy offering me breakfast. He pointed to his home which was a ramshackle pile of corrugated iron and a pile of used appliances. More tomorrow – it involves a kangaroo.

Sterna and Explorer are going to get their happy ride on the Southern Ocean rollercoaster. There is breeze coming in, but I know that they can handle it. They are giving the Kerguelen Island waypoint a wide berth, which seem to be a good plan. White Shadow and the middle pack are also doing great so what else can I say?

Well I was going to save this for tomorrow (and if you don’t want pure weather information and boat speed tallies, skip this.) The old man and his dog had me over for breakfast. Breakfast being, well let me start, with a cup of tea with lots of floaties in it. The tea cup hadn’t been washed in a year or so. When he wasn’t looking I tipped it onto the dry dirt floor. He insisted that I must be hungry. He said, quite a few times, “there is plenty of food in the refrigerator”. Me, being a polite South African said “OK”. I opened the fridge and, well how do I say this, he had removed all the shelves and sitting there, quite poised, I might add, was a whole kangaroo, skinned and just dozing. Then I looked to the side and noticed that one arm was missing and the meat grinder, which had been attracting a lot of flies, had the arm stuffed in. The old man cackled. I ran; what would you do? But anyway more tomorrow and again, I digress.

Contrary to what I said yesterday, Pen Duick VI may come out smelling of roses. There is some nice breeze in the Tasman and while on the distance to go on the rhumb line (not rum – it’s no longer the weekend) they are closer to the North Cape of New Zealand and that’s all that counts. Stand by. Yacht racing can be a little like watching grass grow but in the end there will be a winner (no chicken dinner). In New Zealand they have the best food and a lot of three legged lambs…🙂.

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