Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - The distance to our self-imposed finish line is about to dip below the 500-mile mark and that's typically when people begin to show signs of restlessness.
I remember concluding from the last Volvo Ocean Race that the first 500 and the last 500 are often the hardest miles of a leg: the first because you need to acclimate, and the last because you remember all of the things you've missed. But I think these training sessions amplify that feeling because there's less to focus on without an actual race for distraction.
Dave Swete, originally from New Zealand, is living with his family in Hamble, not far from our end destination of Southampton, and he's already on about where we'll be going for our first meal if we arrive in time for Saturday night.
A nasty jinx if I've ever heard one! And then I shamelessly dug into the remaining food bags for a handful of extra-American beef jerky, and some Alberto-pleasing Italian prosciutto and parmesan. Breaking from the ordinary like that always seems like a good idea at the time but in hindsight I think it tricks us into thinking we're closer than we actually are. 500 miles is 500 miles, and that's still a long way to go.
It's darn impressive though that upon completing this Trans-Atlantic, we, Abu Dhabi, and SCA will have already crossed the Atlantic twice each. That's an insane amount of pre-race sailing for this new one-design VO65, and a significant improvement from the Volvo Open 70 days when much of the work before the start of the race was spent on repairs and modifications.
But we still have 500 miles to continue learning, continue pushing, and continue communicating. We are soaking it up like a dry sponge. Looking back to when we left Lisbon for Newport, it's awfully hard to believe just how far things have come in the miles since. We're an entirely different team. And it's easy to see that there are a lot of really good things happening here now, and I honestly don't think there's anyone onboard who minds sticking it out for another few days to keep that going. The fish and chips can wait, sorry, Dave! Event website