Race 1 - Day 22
Crew Diary - Race 1 Day 22: Liverpool to Punta del Este
11 September

Jock Richardson
Jock Richardson
Team Hotelplanner.com
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Hi there HotelPlanner.com fans. Great to have you back. Another day of the same, and yet plenty of significant things going on. Firstly, we crossed the equator! Very exciting. It was a great moment for many of us who have never done such a thing, other than in an aircraft. There was much cheer on board, particularly as it was clear that our esteemed skipper's strategy of staying a little east is paying off, with strong boat speeds and hopefully a direct line to Punta del Este being a real possibility. As we crossed there were a few moments of silence while we contemplated the event.

The sea was nothing like the calm glassy waters that many might imagine. Large rolling waves with the occasional white caps, strong winds and the realisation that we are a long, long way from anywhere right now. Even the dolphins appear to have deserted us for the moment (Adrian Hemmes, perhaps an update on the latest scientific theory is in order?!). Flying fish are the only regular sighting, in fact with such regularity that for some it can be a bit of a “meh” moment. It's all a beautiful vista though.

The other reality that has presented itself is the fact that we are going to be pushing into wind pretty much for the entire remainder of the journey. This presents numerous challenges; whereas previously the toughest thing to manage was the heat, now we are presented with life constantly at a steep angle as the boat beats into the wind and waves. Cooking is a challenge, getting from one side of the boat to the other feels like you are climbing Mount Everest, and every movement requires planning and forethought. We joke about the adventure of going from A to B and how when we get home we will be climbing around our houses as if we are Spiderman.

Perhaps by coincidence, King Neptune also made an appearance this evening! Strangely, our number one helmer, Carsten Busk, was absent at the time and the King seemed to be of similar healthy physique. Anyway, he felt it was necessary to appraise us of our individual indiscretions and misdemeanours, along with providing an opportunity to gain redemption usually through some gesture either towards him or our Skipper. A fun time while we had a laugh at each other's little habits. I was accused of sleeping too much! Hmph. I call it performance management but of course I duly got on my knee and paid homage to his great wisdom and strangely fake looking beard.

I have enjoyed observing the interactions, the little personal moments that each of us are experiencing as life continues on the boat. In the first days, I think many of us were very cognisant of the many days left in front of us as we pushed our way towards Uruguay, and the challenging conditions those days would bring. While we are still cognisant of what's in front of us there seems to be a greater appreciation of each moment that we are here and the future seems less important. We're just battling on with the race but also enjoying ourselves more I think too by not worrying about what's in front. Our boat fitness has improved massively and people are jumping in to help wherever they can to assist each other when others might be struggling. It's a great thing to see. For me I've really enjoyed the conversations too. In the early days, it was of course a case of getting to know the shallow details of each other's lives but now we are starting to get to know each other more intimately there is a sense of family developing.

That's it from me Hotelplanner fans. Hope you're all enjoying the race.