It’s hot, very hot on deck and below deck as well. When on deck, you are searching for a spot in the shade out of the sun but thats not always possible especially when driving or trimming. Below deck its a struggle to sleep or to eat because of the heat. And even if you do not move, you feel sticky and sweaty. But….I am still loving it!
The competition is intense! Everytime I come on watch after an offwatch, I can see four other boats around me! We are all lined up next to each other about 4 miles apart trying to be the first boat to reach the new North easterly trade winds. And we are fighting for every inch! We have to be focused and concentrated for every second, one little gust missed that the competition hasn’t missed, is another inch lost or if we do it right another inch won. And these inches might seem small but mean so much for the course of the leg.
Once we get out of ‘Le pot noir’ as my fellow French crew members call it, otherwise known as the Doldrums or, as I like to call it the black hole, we hook into the trade winds and it will then be a case of the rich get richer. Right now the race is not necessarily to Hong Kong but it is to be first to the trade winds! To be honest, I don’t know what is tougher? When I arrived in Melbourne after leg 3 in the Southern Ocean, I thought that was the toughest thing I have ever done. But now, in this leg 4, we are no longer in the extreme heavy winds, no longer in the extreme cold, no longer in the wet grey sky but we are in the other extreme. The skies are blue, the sun is burning our bodies, the temperature is extremely hot which makes it sweaty and sticky and the living conditions on board quite hard. But…I would not have wanted to miss this for the world and I’m still loving it!
Greetings from the Dongfeng Race Team boat