Team Blog – Nick Dana– 30th April 2012

Monday, 30 April 2012 | by ADOR

We’re rolling now. The wind continues to strengthen and our average speeds are now in the high teens. We were dealt a bit of an unfortunate hand in the last couple scheds as we were caught a little bit further offshore with less wind then the leading pack 30+ miles ahead. Around midnight we gybed back towards shore and found the numbers we were looking for. However, we were on an almost due west heading for nearly two hours while the fleet kept pushing north at 18 knots boat speed.

“It’s going to be tough to drive back into the leaders for a while. The weather is pretty straightforward until we cross the Doldrums, and even then they are pretty narrow and might not cause the shake up we need” explains Justin Slattery. The weather that Justin is referring to is a pretty consistent set of Southeast trade winds. These will keep us at VMG downwind angles quite happily until quick transition to the Northeast trade winds once through the doldrums. “We just have to make sure we take as many little bites out of their lead now in case the opportunity does present itself” adds Justin.

“We have good confidence in Azzam at these angles and wind strength. Now we just have to lean on ourselves to make sure we’re getting the most out of her.” Paul Willcox “I’m really looking forward to the days ahead, from everything I’ve seen in the forecasts we should have a cracking week of sailing all the way through the Caribbean” Anthony “Nocka” Nossiter

date: Monday, 30 April 2012 10:58:26 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)

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Team Blog – Ian Walker – 29th April 2012

Sunday, 29 April 2012 | by ADOR

It’s been a painful 24 hours for Azzam as we have sat powerlessly watching the leaders feeding in to more breeze ahead of us. It has evened up a bit recently and the last position report saw us make our first gain for several days. Conditions remain idyllic with 14 knots of wind and smooth seas so life is not all bad. For once in this race we have the wind and current behind us and soon we will gybe near the Brazilian coast and be heading almost directly at Miami.

We have 3,000 miles to go and despite a reasonably quick passage so far it is becoming increasingly clear that we will run out of food. This is in no small part due to the fact we cut everything right back to keep the boat light for the downwind sailing. Anyway those problems are a week away. Right now we have to focus on cutting the leaders’ advantage so that we are in touch as they enter the doldrums.

The doldrums don’t look very active but it only takes one cloud to lose a lot of miles. Tonight we will be pushing our luck in tight to the Brazilian coast where it looks like we will have to thread our way through some oil or gas platforms. After a winter of training in Abu Dhabi this is not unknown territory to us. In fact with this wind and warm sunshine we could be in the Arabian Gulf right now!

date: Sunday, 29 April 2012 09:00:34 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)

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Team Blog – Ian Walker – 28th April 2012

Saturday, 28 April 2012 | by ADOR

After the disappointment of seeing Telefonica sail right past us and put 12 miles on us in only 24 hours it has been a relatively good day for us. Puma and Camper fell into a hole yesterday evening and got sucked back a little towards the pack and Telefonica and ourselves were lucky enough to keep moving.

We are now passing Recife (we can see the tower blocks 20 miles to leeward) and the wind angle is opening up little by little. Soon it will be spinnakers up and a gradual left turn towards Miami. It is very frustrating not being able to hold on to boats around us upwind or reaching but we still have a slight hope that we may be OK spinnaker running against the others.

It is strange to be so far around the world without really knowing yet how we will perform downwind. It is no surprise now why we have been unable to compete with the leaders in previous legs. It has helped a lot that this leg has been flat water and not too much VMG upwind sailing. Anyway spirits remain high onboard and we have achieved our first goal of being within one position report of the leaders at Recife. It is also a bonus for us that Groupama have been ensnared in lighter headed winds behind us – we know how it feels.

We also know that with some big tactical calls and the doldrums to cross this leg isn’t over for anyone. It is fun to be up playing with the leading pack and despite 3400 miles to Miami it doesn’t seem so far away right now.

date: Saturday, 28 April 2012 12:34:53 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)

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Team Blog – Ian Walker – 27th April 2012

Friday, 27 April 2012 | by ADOR

Just 24 hours ago we sailed up to Camper as it went dark and managed to roll over the top of them as the wind went very light and fickle. Little were we to know that two hours later, after we both got becalmed in a rain cloud, they would emerge 10 miles ahead. They must have wriggled into some wind before us and then extended as the new wind filled in on the other side of the transition. It was particularly frustrating as we were to the north where we believed the new wind would come first.

Anyway we have dusted ourselves down and been sailing upwind for 24 hours since. We managed to get east and cross Telefonica but as we have all lined up on starboard they have slowly eaten up our lead and our extending to windward. We know we are slow upwind so our aim is simple – try to stay in sight of them over the next 24 hours and hope that we will be fast when the wind frees up off Recife.

Puma and Camper should be launched well clear now but there is still a lot of sailing to do. Miami is still nearly 4,000 miles away. One piece of good news is that we are hopefully far enough ahead of Groupama to hold on until the downwind section. This is quite a big achievement considering the speed at which they took off on day one. The conditions remain perfect out here with perfectly flat water, warm weather and clear skies. Only 36 more hours and it will be spinnakers up and Miami here we come.

date: Friday, 27 April 2012 15:52:28 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)

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Team Blog – Nick Dana– 27th April 2012

Friday, 27 April 2012 | by ADOR

It was yet another beautiful night aboard Azzam. Just after nightfall the breeze began to build and lift. Initially we saw 17 knots of wind speed and felt a little caught out with our mast head zero. However, after a few minutes the pressure tapered off a bit and has been consistent around the 10-12 knot range for the last five hours. No complaints here – “best four nights of sailing in the race so far,” says Craig Satterthwaite.

Our loss to Camper yesterday was a bit of a tough one to digest. Luckily we made it up almost to Telefonica’s line and managed to hold our own boat for boat for most of the day. Unfortunately as the wind shifts more right and enters the 70 -100 true wind angle region (as it’s forecasted to continue to do) Telefonica will have an advantage. Just in our last sched, they extended their lead by five miles and averaged nearly two knots faster. “It is a true lesson in boat speed,” explains Ian Walker. “We must continue to push though, and wait for our opportunities. Especially if the angles continue to widen and allow for some VMG downwind sailing.”

Nevertheless the mood on board remains positive. We are all very much enjoying our smooth ride up the Brazilian coast, and are looking forward to stronger trade winds. The temperature inside the boat continues to rise during the day though, so sleeping is becoming more difficult. Not mention the water temperature is already at 30 degrees! /p>

date: Friday, 27 April 2012 15:51:27 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)

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Team Blog – Ian Walker – 26th April 2012

Thursday, 26 April 2012 | by ADOR

At the start of this race one of the things I was looking forward to most was some close racing in similarly matched boats. So far in this race that has eluded us in all but short bursts but finally we have a nice battle on our hands with Camper.

Downwind there is not much between us so we are hoping the wind stays as far aft of the beam as possible. After losing some miles last night we have benefitted from the light air transition and sailed up right behind them. We are still shadowing each other in the West which seems to have been working out well for us – long may that last!

The key to this leg was always likely to be trying to get into the trade winds first and that is the prize for whoever gets through this patch of light wind. So far we have managed to keep moving but we are under no illusions that any boat could park up at any time. One good thing is that we have managed to get much further East than once looked likely. That puts us closer to those out to sea which should help us in the medium term when we finally get clear of this transition.

Last night was another beautiful night of sailing with more stars than you could ever imagine. Today has dawned clear and with a nice smooth sea. I am not sure how long things will last but so far leg 6 is being kind to us. Maybe it is good karma for the Aussies and Kiwis we have onboard who have not let us forget that it is ANZAC day. Nocka has not only brought an Aussie flag but has also been practicing his marching on deck – maybe the sun is getting to him.

date: Thursday, 26 April 2012 14:17:48 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)

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Team Blog – Nick Dana– 25th April 2012

Wednesday, 25 April 2012 | by ADOR

Since the start of this leg we have been blessed with great sailing conditions. Never more than 20 knots of wind and more importantly - all ‘downhill’ in the direction in which we are actually trying to go. At the moment we are still locked in our little drag race with Camper and have now about 10 miles separation with them slightly below our line. Although we have lost a few miles in the last couple of scheds, perhaps due to sail choice, we have held our height and have begun the convergence with the rest of the fleet to weather of us.

Over the coming days we should see the breeze soften and shift slightly more from the North as we pass through the upcoming frontal line. So far sail changes have been seldom, but as we approach the trades and new weather systems that will no doubt change. The mood on board is still all smiles – the intensity of ‘mile for mile’ racing in flat water reaching conditions has got everyone energised. However, there is some worry that the cutting back of freeze dried food in order save weight may carry consequences, if the conditions become more demanding on the body. Fortunately with more exhausting conditions in this leg, you’re generally moving faster towards your target.

date: Wednesday, 25 April 2012 14:56:55 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)

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Team Blog – Nick Dana– 23rd April 2012

Monday, 23 April 2012 | by ADOR

Finally! Our first down wind start to this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, and the conditions couldn’t be any better for the moment. Fast reaching, flat seas and warm water. It was difficult to get everyone into the watch routine, as they all seemed to want to stay on deck and keep sailing. Azzam is off like a rocket and we are just holding off Camper who is about a mile to leeward of us.

From a down below perspective it was a bit more difficult to get as excited. Jules and I aren’t exactly basking in the sun with warm water on our faces. When you are cracked sheets - tight reaching in anything above ten knots on a Volvo 70, life below is hectic. Not to mention we have to get used to the sweatbox again. It’s what I imagine re-entry into earth’s atmosphere to be like inside the space shuttle - hot and violent with a cacophony of deafening noises. Only we are not strapped in and quietly flicking switches.

Once again, we must give a big shout out to our shore team. It was a spectacular effort to get Azzam off the ship and race ready again in such a tight timetable. The boat builders had an absolute blinder with the repair to the hull, and we are happy to report that everything sounds and appears normal again down below. Hopefully a little bit of our bad fortune was cut out during the repair and we can have a crack at stirring up the leader board.

date: Monday, 23 April 2012 13:43:05 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)

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Team Blog – Ian Walker – 23rd April 2012

Monday, 23 April 2012 | by ADOR

I’m pleased to report that everything is working fine on Azzam. We are actually having a great little race with Camper TNZ with no more than 200 metres between the boats. It has to be said that we are only out here thanks to the hard work of our shore team both logistically and with the all important repair work.

We desperately want to do well in this leg as a thank you to those guys and girls for all their effort and skill. So far it has been a pleasure to start a leg with some reaching – this is the first leg to not start with a beat. What is not so much fun is watching Puma, Telefonica and Groupama sail off in to the distance. Camper and ourselves seem evenly matched on this point of sail but the other guys are in a different league right now.

Fortunately things should get mixed up soon with some light air to contend with. The wind has already dropped from 20 knots down to 11 and soon we will see the light air code zeros unleashed. For now we are just happy to be out here and racing boats alongside us for a change.

date: Monday, 23 April 2012 12:16:32 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)

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Team Blog – Mike Danks – 18th April 2012

Wednesday, 18 April 2012 | by ADOR

Today has been quite productive here in sunny Itajai, Brazil. The ship arrival has been pushed back to early Thursday morning now, so it is crucial we have everything prepared and in place. It will no doubt be a big push for the shore team to have the boat ready for the in-Port and leg start, but we are confident that the work will move ahead smoothly once the boat is safely in her cradle. Sausage (Ben Davis) and his extra boat builders from the UK are relocating the boat building tent closer to the cradle now. The boys in the sail loft are unrolling some brand new sails today and prepping them for sail measurement. They have also had a big week of painting the new sails and ensuring that all branding is in place.

This morning, sailors, boat builders and management all gathered to discuss and prioritise the work that needs to be completed before Azzam is put back in the water race ready. Sam and Tim are still working away on the ship and nearly have all the repairs on their lists finished. Pat Shaughnessy from Farr Yacht Design is now on site and will be overseeing the repair process. We have a huge logistical task ahead of us to get a 40 hour repair done inside an extremely tight time table. However this is how the Volvo goes and many of us are used to it. The team is rested, determined and ready to go… all we need is Azzam.

date: Wednesday, 18 April 2012 19:24:04 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)

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Team Blog – Jamie Boag – 18th April 2012

Wednesday, 18 April 2012 | by ADOR

The Volvo Ocean Race is all about man and machine against nature. It is at once both a sporting challenge and a test of human endeavor and adventure. Racing in the depths of the Southern Ocean in a carbon fibre shell doing 50kph and leaping of seven metre waves is in itself something that most of us will never experience but I’m sure many of us would like to try it for an hour or two. On the other hand, being on a boat, hearing tearing noises from the hull and realising that you and your team mates are six days away from rescue, is something that none of us would want to experience. Never mind having to drill 35 holes in the bottom of the boat lying on its side in a gale 1,700 miles from land as the only means of repair. That was a race against Mother Nature and she won that battle. Not the war though.

Our rescue mission to get the broken Azzam on a ship from Puerto Montt in Chile to Itajai was always going to be tight. Originally we estimated a 72hr fix to try and get the boat repaired and prepared to take part in the In-Port Race on Saturday and the restart the day after. Mother Nature has not been kind to us, throwing adverse weather conditions in front of the Thorco Emipire ship that is carrying our boat to Itajai. The ship was originally due to discharge her on the 17th, and our latest estimate is now the morning of the 19th.

That gives us about 40 hours to do a 72 hour repair. We also have to factor in that normally we would take three days to prepare the boat and systems for an ocean leg, time we just do not have on this occasion. Yet nothing is impossible.

Since the ship left Chile we have, like the famous scene in Apollo 13, been running scenarios and looking at the different critical paths involved with the repair on the boat.

Every time we go over the process we manage to shave a few minutes here or there. As of yesterday we had managed to get our estimate down to around 55 hours. For example:

• Moving the steel cradle from the ship to the base had originally involved dismantling, trucking and reassembling. We managed to find a small car ferry in the river that could barge the container from the ship to the shore base (about 2 miles). This has saved us 45 minutes a day.

• The repair to the hull requires the core and the inner skin to be cut out. This leaves only a flimsy 1.5mm of carbon skin over a large area which we need to work on. This necessitates a splash, or exact mould being constructed and vacuumed to the outside of the boat over the area where we will do the repair. As we have to repair not only the broken side of the boat, but effect remedial work to the “good” side of the boat we had to build a second splash for the starboard side. After careful study and because the area affected here is smaller the engineers have determined that a second splash, or mould is not required for starboard side of the boat, saving another four hours of work.

And the list goes on. Today we have the white board cleaned again a fresh pair of marker pens, and the thoughts of Apollo 13 in the back of our minds. How can we save more time?

Despite all of the good work above we are constrained by the laws of physics. Resins have cure times, there is a limit on the amount of people who can actually work in a combined space, and there are only a certain amounts of hours in the day. We are also conscious of the old adage that more haste less speed. At the end of the day the repair has to be seaworthy. Our team mates will be launching off to do battle with Mother Nature again in four days time, and we need to sleep safe in our beds knowing that the repairs are as good as they can be.

Will we make it? It won’t be for the lack of trying.

date: Wednesday, 18 April 2012 19:21:49 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)

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Team Blog – Simon (SiFi) Fisher – 17th April 2012

Tuesday, 17 April 2012 | by ADOR

One of the attractions of the Volvo Ocean Race is that it never ceases to throw out the unexpected, but this can be both good and bad. Leg 5 was no different and it started full of expectation. We were keen to put on a good showing, experience some close racing in conditions that we had hoped would put us on a par with the fleet and finally to enjoy some downwind sailing, something that has been rather scarce this race. Sadly however, this was not to be and less than 24 hours into the race we found ourselves back in Auckland. Two weeks later, rather than rounding Cape Horn we found ourselves quietly motoring up the river into Puerto Montt, Chile. I had always had wanted to visit Patagonia but certainly hadn’t expected to be doing it under these circumstances.

The Southern Ocean hadn’t been kind to us. It was disappointing not being able to round Cape Horn for a third time, and no doubt more disappointing for Adil, Paul, Bubs and Nick who had hoped to round the mythical cape for the their first time but I don’t think anyone would argue with the decision we had made. Despite having made an impressive repair from what we could muster on board the time, our luck was well and truly over. Pounding through the ocean 2,000 miles from land is high tariff at the best of times, but with a bad forecast and a broken boat the stakes seemed a little too high. I think we all gave a collective sigh of relief when we got to the safety of shore of South America albeit on the opposite coast.

And so another unexpected experience started to unfold, beginning with getting the boat ready for shipping to Brazil. Our shore crew took all this in their stride. It would have been easy to moan about the long transfers and the multiple flights to get over the Andes to Itajai but it really has nothing on Cape Horn. Looking on the bright side rarely had I enjoyed looking out the window of the airplane as much as I did as we flew from Santiago to Montevideo with the Andes and the impressive estuary of the River Plate to take in as the hardship of the Southern Ocean slowly slipped from my mind.

Time off in Itajai has been great fun. For the past week rather than thinking about boats, sails and performance I have been able to enjoy the beaches of Santa Catarina. Rather than surfing through the ocean wearing thermals, waterproofs, gloves and hats I have been surfing the waves off the beaches wearing board shorts and a rash vest. Leg 6 is now fast approaching though and my thoughts are now getting back on the job in hand. This coming week is going to be a busy one for everyone, especially the shore team which has plenty of work to do in a very short time. Everyone will have to pull together to get the repair done and the boat back on the water in time for the in-port race but it will be a challenge that everyone will relish and can look back on with pride when the job is done. I for one will be very happy to be heading out onto the water again with another opportunity to put some more points on the board. Hopefully we can get a good result and enjoy some good racing too. I have no doubt though that there will be some more unexpected stuff the crops up, I just hope this time it’s of the good kind…

date: Tuesday, 17 April 2012 14:33:48 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)

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Team Blog – Sam Bourne – 15th April 2012

Sunday, 15 April 2012 | by ADOR

Azzam was safely loaded onto the deck of the MV Thorco Empire last week and secured for the 2800nm passage to Itajai. Some unforeseen local regulations caused a bit of a delay to our sailing time and we spent the first night at anchor off Puerto Montt. Tim, myself and some of the ship’s crew continued to secure the yacht and by morning our clearance to sail was confirmed. Early fog had cleared to leave a warm and calm day as we weighed anchor at 1100 and made our way down the Golfo de Ancud, sunshine reflecting off the snow-capped volcanoes.

Our guides for the passage down to the Atlantic entrance of the Magellan Strait had planned a route that would take us through a number of the more sheltered coastal passages and shield us from the worst of the southern pacific weather. After a spectacular sunset, we entered the first of these channels from the Golfo de Corcovado and were rewarded with calm seas and good speed of 15 knots.

We emerged into the Pacific at 0400 the next morning for a 12 hour section in the open ocean -- now we could feel the full effect of a 25-30knot Nor'easter and a large ocean swell. Not a day for being on deck, we did not even attempt the ladder the get to the yacht...

Rolling through 40 degrees made life 'interesting' onboard. Simple tasks like walking along a corridor were turned into an exercise in agility, while chasing your food around the table while your seat slides around the floor brought comedy moments galore!

We passed from the Golfo Penas into the next channel through a lethal looking collection of rocks, the pilot calmly issuing new headings. Suddenly it was calm again! A pod of whales and some albatross were sighted in our last stretch of the open Pacific.

Some amazingly narrow passages greeted us in the morning (one as narrow as 200 metres!) along with views of mountains and icy-blue glaciers.

Since it was so calm, Tim and I set to work on the yacht; we have a big joblist and need to make good progress before arrival in Itajai so we can focus on the major repair. Today was the day to rebuild the forward stacking bay that was sacrificed to shore-up the damaged hull. Tubes were cut, splinted, fitted and glued together to form the frame, ready to laminate tomorrow. It was pretty cold in the boat, around 10 degrees, so slow cure time meant that was the end of play for the day on that project. Next up was repairing the bracket for the keel hydraulic pump, a victim of the violent motion of a Volvo 70 at high speed. Some extreme deep-south laminating skills were called for and Tim Collen duly delivered!

A special sight today was an wrecked ship perched high on a reef after a serious pilotage error back in the 70s, a reminder how treacherous these waters can be. What is also remarkable is that since leaving Puerto Montt, we have only seen a handful of boats and almost no sign of human life other than the light beacons guiding the way through this utterly unforgiving landscape of ice carved barren rock.

The Strait of Magellan will take us down to 54 degrees south, around the southernmost point on the South American mainland, Cape Froward. Not quite Cape Horn, but a significant turning point none the less. Then we enter the Atlantic and start the long route north to Itajai. The ship is making all speed however we can't get there soon enough..... I am sure the rest of the shore team are just itching to get their hands on Azzam and get her ready for the next leg to Miami.

Signing off

Sam & Tim

ADOR Shore Team (Offshore Division)

date: Sunday, 15 April 2012 15:12:52 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)

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Team Blog – Ian Walker – 7th April 2012

Saturday, 07 April 2012 | by ADOR

Jealousy is a terrible thing but I will admit to being a little envious of Ken (Read) and Iker (Martinez) right now. I am sat in a hotel room in Chile waiting for a ship to arrive and collect Azzam whilst those guys are conducted a great match race over the last few miles into Itajai. They earned this right after sailing an excellent leg from Auckland in - for the most part -horrific conditions. Here in Puerto Montt, a quite beautiful place by the way, we have now finished packing up Azzam and we have the cradle assembled and ready to go.

Since breaking the boat our decision making and planning has focussed solely on getting to Itajai in time and being as ready as we can be for the start of the next leg. Everything is going to plan except for one important ingredient – the ship to take Azzam to Brazil! The ship was due in yesterday but bad weather has held up its arrival. Every day that we have to wait puts more and more pressure on us to get the repair work carried out in Itajai before the leg start. We cannot start the work here in Chile so all we can do is work on any other servicing and worklist jobs to save time in Brazil.

To move this along we are also sending two of our shore team to travel on the ship. Most of the sailors are currently flying home for a well-deserved break. We have sailed pretty much solidly since leaving Sanya nearly two months ago. I am sure the lads will benefit from seeing their families and some home cooking so that they come back ready and raring to go.

Leg 5 has wreaked havoc on the fleet but that is part and parcel of the Volvo Ocean Race. The main thing is that all the crew are safe as boats can be repaired but the same is not always true of their crew.

date: Saturday, 07 April 2012 16:55:50 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)

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Team Blog – Nick Dana – 6th April 2012

Friday, 06 April 2012 | by ADOR

Hola! From Porta Montt, Chile. It’s been raining now for 3 days straight. The rig is out of the boat and sitting on deck. The small contingent of the shore team has been busy for the past two days packing up Azzam and getting her ready for shipping. The sailing team has finished off their jobs on board and are all heading home for some much needed rest.

Two of our shore team member will be traveling with the ship. Tim Collins and Sam Bourn have volunteered to travel with Azzam and continue knocking jobs off the work list. Everyone is in good spirits at the moment. The sailing team have a very positive outlook on the job ahead, and are looking forward the in port and leg start in Itajai. From the sounds of it, the stopover is going to be a blast.

date: Friday, 06 April 2012 18:24:21 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)

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Team Blog – Nick Dana – 2nd April 2012

Monday, 02 April 2012 | by ADOR

It’s our third day, since the repair work was finished, of FRO (fractional zero) running. With an average speed of over 17 knots now and a continually worsening sea state, we have begun hearing some new funky sounds coming from the compromised panel. We can only speculate, but many of us believe it is the superfluous glue that is cracking when the panel flexes and others believe that the outer skin may be compressing on the core material more. Either way we remain confident that the repair is strong, but know that constant monitoring is still necessary.

Boredom has now reached what we can only hope is its peak. Over sleeping, over eating, over thinking and just over story telling has worn us out. Strange prolonged silences are all that is left between watch changes. Paul [Willcox] and I have started our own little favela gym in the back of the boat where we attempt to do push ups, sit ups and chin ups in hopes of tiring ourselves enough to go back to sleep. Often you will find several of us gathered in the nav station using the navigation software as if it were google earth.

Our next weather report should give us an idea as to what we could expect if we should decide to turn and burn towards the horn. If it looks as heinous as it was forecasted a few days ago, it is likely that we will seek an alternative option to getting to Itajai. More to come once we find out…

date: Monday, 02 April 2012 15:50:34 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)

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Team Blog – Nick Dana – 1st April 2012

Sunday, 01 April 2012 | by ADOR

Seeing as we are still not certain of our next move, today’s report is more of an update to our current situation. Right now we are heading 65 magnetic towards the Chilean coast averaging 17 knots under an incredibly lit Southern Ocean sky. Our current goal is to assess the repair over time while gently ramping up the pace. Like I wrote yesterday, we continue to try and keep a speed limit on our injured Falcon. However, she still dives down waves here in excess of 25 knots.

On board life has become very casual. Chocolate addictions are quite common with the introduction of boredom, so the day bag has gone on lock down. iPod’s are blazing with movies and music videos, the media station and nav station are now just battery charging centres. Both beanbags are permanently occupied to windward and leeward with stray crew left sleeping in the bilge after their bunks were chopped up for the repair. Country music can be faintly heard coming from back in the ‘favela’ (media station) where I have left the media computer playing the best of David Alan Co and Johnny Cash.

Our decisions to either turn south and have a crack at finishing the leg, or continue east towards Chile to seek repairs should be made in the next 24 hours. For now, we are just pleased that our repairs seem to be holding up nicely. While the Southern Ocean seems quite friendly at the moment, the massive cloud lines on the horizon that we always seem to be running from are a stark reminder of why you don’t want to be stuck out here.

date: Sunday, 01 April 2012 13:18:39 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)

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