Bekking reports 'Med at its best' during qualifier
by Bouwe Bekking onboard Telefonica Blue/VOR on 16 Jul 2008
Skipper Bouwe Bekking, reports from on board Telefonica Blue, on the seventh day of the Spanish team’s two-boat 2,000-mile qualification run.
Telefonica Blue test sailing in Alicante, Spain Maria Muina/Equipo Telefonica
The Med has shown its best side in the last 24 hours. Sailors who are going from the east to the west enjoy blue skies, 25-35 knots, huge short and steep waves, they are having the downwind ride of their life.
We can only look in disbelieve, as unfortunately we are travelling the other way, crashing and banging upwind under one reef and a small jib, the last couple of hundred miles, King Neptune is not giving it easy to us. Of course we can crack our sheets and rip the miles off in no time, but we’d rather give the boat and rig a good crash test in these conditions. So far so good.
Had a little issue with one of garbage bags onboard, normally we stow them in the bow behind the watertight bulkhead, so you don’t notice the smell so much. When I was forward for a quick inspection, I encountered an unpleasant surprise.
Immediately after opening the bulkhead a strong stench entered my nostrils. Garbage everywhere. I asked one of the guys if he knew about it. He did but he wanted to wait until it became a bit calmer. He didn’t expect my reaction, when I said we clean it up right now. Don’t delay until tomorrow, what you can do now.
First of all a clean ship, makes us all feel better once you are downstairs and I have been bitten enough times in the bum by delaying things. Poor guy: he was like Bambi on ice, sliding through the bow section and sometimes got airborne when we leaped of a big wave.
The sweat was pouring off him but this one test he survived: definitely he will never become seasick. Talking seasickness, it has been a long time ago that I sailed on a boat in these conditions that none of the crew even showed signs of this. One worry less.
With the rest of the guys all is going well, all looking like pirates, as so far nobody has shaved himself. The newcomers probably don’t know this is allowed and think it is part of the Volvo race. The 'old' foxes just don’t care anymore about this, especially since some of us don’t have the families there for arrival.
Volvo Ocean Race - http://www.volvooceanrace.org
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