Race 2 - Day 8
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Crew Diary - Race 2 Day 8: Punta del Este to Cape Town
Here on Dare to Lead around the half way mark, life is good. We are all feeling perky again; boat life and the rhythm of the sea has quietly asserted itself. Of course as you, the reader, well knows nothing is given easily here so we have all earned the right as a trade off against the simple art of just existing in a semi-civilised manner.
As a Leg 2 joiner, it was interesting to meld into the existing team and to learn the hints and tips that make the harder tasks possible. All 'Joiners' have been warmly welcomed and made to feel to feel right at home – I think everyone was pleased to hear some fresh voices and life stories after the length of Leg 1!
For myself, joining the boat and team has boiled down to a few key elements.
Organisation – First and foremost, an organised bunk and cave locker where a few essential items can be stored has proved essential. Swapping bunk with your bunk buddy every few hours in around 10 minutes means every second counts. Get this wrong and feel 16 pairs of eyes on you as you arrive a few seconds late! As yet, I have escaped this silent jury... all forgotten by the time the Watch has settled down after a few minutes. However, we are all too aware that after 4 or 6 hours on deck that you can't let your team mates down – they deserve the warmth and shelter that below deck brings. We are all in this together and the spirit of the individual enhances the strength of the team.
Time - Strangely, time itself becomes distorted. Apart from each precious second needed to allow you to get out of your bunk (often 'uphill') and into your kit, that is all you need to worry about. Oh - and the last ten minutes of a shift that inexplicably stretch in time while you wait for the oncoming watch to come on deck and settle in, so you can go below. And of course the number of hours in the next watch where the routine of getting up and going to sleep becomes cyclical and days and nights have no difference apart from dressing in daylight or under a red glow of the night lights below decks. That's it then – days have become meaningless as we surge across the water.
The other is Firsts. I have been fortunate that I have sailed most of my life but the Clipper Race has brought me a new round of Firsts.
Visiting S.America and especially Uruguay and the wonderful reception from the Major and people of Punta del Este;
Being shown the Southern Cross in the unfamiliar star system – slowly becoming more and more friendly each time we are lucky enough to enjoy clear night skies.
Seeing my first Albatross – and knowing it won't be the last!
Helming and reaching a top speed of 25 knots under white sails only.
My first time below the 40th Parallel in an endless horizon of water.
Backing all this up and reinforcing this amazing experience is the genuine goodness within the Dare to Lead community. Each individual working hard to look after themselves, the boat, the team, and most importantly each other as and when needed. Heart warming in this experience of Firsts where time has become meaningless.
Thanks for letting me express myself,