Saturday, 24 December 2011 | by ADOR
So far my doldrums experience has been quite different than what I had originally expected. In two separate schedule reports last night we were averaging over 16 knts of boat speed. We entered the Doldrums doing roughly 18 knts with the bow exploding into each wave ahead of us as if we were in the Southern Ocean still. Azzam was reeling in her competitors by several miles a schedule, the easting route was paying off for us.
But it was to be short lived – in hindsight we should have sacrificed some speed on our approach and gone tighter to the breeze. Though we would have lost the big number gains in the beginning, our setup for a speedy Doldrums crossing would have been more realistic. As Jules puts it though “you can never see what you have missed in the Doldrums until it’s too late.” At the moment, I’m sure the rest of the fleet would agree with this statement.
As we drift through what seems to be a 10x10 mile cloudless hole, it’s impossible not to think about how close you are to the finish. “Just under two ‘Great Races’ left here boys!” announces Bubs as he comes on deck for the start of his watch. I suppose it’s easier to cope with frustrating drifting conditions if you are able to quantify the length left of the misery. I laughed as I looked around and saw everyone number crunching in their minds, relating similar race’s in the past to our distance to the finish. Whatever gets you by…
Some - on the other hand - just aren’t geared to think that way; they live hour-by-hour on the boat, watch-to-watch. When there is down time, it’s either sleep or fix something. No room for your mind to wander because it only stretches time. It’s a very difficult mindset to tap into, but I reckon it’s the way forward when you’re staring up at rig that full of dead slatting sails.
date: Saturday, 24 December 2011 13:00:41 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)
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