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Volvo Ocean Race - Living is tough onboard Puma’s Mar Mostro

by Amory Ross on 24 Mar 2012
Ryan Godfrey gets his gear on. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Amory Ross/Puma Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race© http://www.puma.com/sailing
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 5 of Leg 5. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress:

'How did we manage to lose four of our five mugs in one watch?' Ryan Godfrey (who today also managed to lose his own water bottle, plus the extra one he was given, too).

Today lived up to expectations…so much so that I’m running extremely behind schedule. This one will be short!

It’s blowing 35 knots and our Mar Mostro is zigzagging around the ocean, the very big ocean, like a toy boat in a bathtub. I’ve never seen waves this big, and according to the guys that have been here before, they’re half what they could be (Southern Ocean waves circle the planet with nothing to stop them, so it’s at least believable!).

One second we’ll be doing 30 knots through the water, the next, 15, and the transition period between those two speeds is almost instantaneous. Guys are literally flying out of the bottom of their bunks and if you’re not holding onto something at all times you could find yourself doing the superman slide across the deck or through the interior. Not fun, or safe. Imagine standing in the bed of your bud’s pickup truck while he’s doing 40 down a bumpy road, then have him pull the e-brake. Oh yeah, it’s winter and it’s raining, too.

Just anything in these conditions takes three times as long as normal, things like typing for example. One key at a time because your head and the keyboard are in a constant state of disagreement, vision and coordination never quite aligning well enough for any degree of efficiency. Or cooking. Trying to fill the kettle with water from the tap while it literally ping-pongs off the sides of the sink is almost easier than trying to pour the boiling water in the pot 45 minutes later. I’d say it’s 50/50…half in, half out. So you have to do it twice, maybe three times.

You get the gist! It’s cold, it’s wet, living is tough, surviving is rough. But we’re having fun, going fast, and looking forward to another week of this before the Horn!

Puma Ocean Racing Volvo Ocean Race website

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