Samstag, 17. Januar 2009

ICAP LEOPARD - ein Boot, ein Tracker, plus VINETA update

ICAP LEOPARD (Foto: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi) stürmt im Heineken Cape to Bahia Race voran, mit RAMBLER an der Hacke.

Die Event-Website biete uns einen Tracker, der schon mal ganz gut sehen läßt, was so los ist.

ICAP LEOPARD hat allerdings seinen eigenen Tracker, das schmucke Stück von OC Events, auf dem die der 100-Fuß-Maxi allerdings ganz allein unterwegs ist. Vielleicht könnte Mike Slade ja mal George Snow mit seiner RAMBLER einladen, sich auch darauf zu zeigen, um alle das Titanen-Rennen mitverfolgen zu lassen.

Matthew Thomas, Bootsmann auf der mastlosen VINETA mit Kurs Walvis Bay (Namibia) berichtet:

from Yacht "Vineta"
South Atlantic 17/01/2009
by Matthew Thomas

It's been a pretty wet and bumpy night. With almost complete cloud cover and the wind gusting back and forth all night, helming has not been too bad, but very wet.. There have been numerous odd angle swells which suddenly show up in the dark and the first thing you know is there is an almighty crash on the side of the boat, immediately followed by the roar of incoming water.

Sometimes the here is simply no warning and the whole lot seems to happen at once and you end up soaked. We've had waves come from all directions, even from astern. The big question is who's going to get wet.

With 2 of us on watch, one of you helms and the other tries to find a comfortable position in the cockpit. We've got sails strewn all over the place so you can make a bit of a nest and hopefully end up somewhat protected from the incoming waves, if you're lucky. Thank heaven for the wet weather gear we all have and the fact that the water is not to cold.

We're still banging our way to Walvis. Everyone who is off watch is either napping, reading or listening to music. To my left is the main saloon and we have the table down and made into a big double birth. It's pretty much the place to be as it's in the centre of the boat so has the least violet movement and currently occupied by a sleeping Robin, Patrick napping and listening to music and Nick reading. Eric has just come of watch and will probably end up there too. Wolf is busy helming and the other two, Felix and Jan are each asleep in the aft cabin.

Of course, with the current motion of the boat, everything gets to be quite complex to do as you have to constantly hang on and brace yourself against the movement of the boat. Of course the great test is using the head (toilet). First of all, the seat is tiny and looks like it was better designed for a 20kg, 11 year old and specifically not designed to be constantly moving. So sitting on the seat, the first thing you have to do is brace yourself and your bum to try and stop the seat sliding all over the place.

Now bear in mind that the bowl is not very big or very deep which means that anything you deposit in there is still in quite close proximity to your bottom and the motion of the boat means that it definitely has a life of it's own as it slops around. Fortunately, there is a pump on the one side that allows you 2 options. Pump out the bowl while adding sea water or simply pump out the bowl. Now, that would be easy if everything was stationary. But not while sailing. You are sitting on the a bowl that is attached to a moving object that happily moves in all 3 dimensions, often at the same time and with no warning, so you have to brace yourself with both legs and arms and then have to somehow pump to make sure what you just deposited doesn't get the option to return. Quite comical when you think about it, a bit bloody nerve wracking when you're on the throne.

Then of course, there is the question of do you take your pants off as it gives you a better ability to brace yourself with your legs and feet. All the while, you're sitting in the area where we store our wet, wet weather gear, so every jolt of the boat has them sliding into you. A bit like being in the middle of a huge, wet sea anemone with the surf breaking on you.

Sleeping is sometimes not much better. Because of the movement, the forward cabin is basically useless, so we then have the 3 off watch sharing 3 double bunks. Fortunately there are lee cloths so you don't end up on top of each other, but either way, you're like sardines in a can and almost always guaranteed to bash into each other all night, hence the huge amount of sleep we seem to getting. You basically nap for a few seconds, hang on, nap for a few more before hanging on again. Not having a mast has definitely made the motion a lot more violent and uncomfortable,

Got treats today J. Robin pulled out a huge bag of Kudu biltong for us. We each have our own packet and they are being guarded jealously. Not that it'll be an issue, currently the GPS says we're 179 miles away, which should put us in on Sunday evening. Talking about GPS's, I gave our position yesterday as that of the cursor which was on a sand dune just outside Walvis. Oops.

Everyone is looking forward to getting off the boat, having a hot shower and having a beer or six together with Walvis Bay House Wine.

Mehr in Matthews Blog.