by Ken Read
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 23 of Leg 1. Ken Read, Skipper onboard Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg reports on the crew's progress:
Ken Read calls home to wish his family a happy Thanksgiving. The USA flagged team has since arrived in Tristan da Cunha
We have now been on Tristan da Cunha now for 24 hours. And, it is exactly what we thought it would be. A cloud seems to surround the island always. We still haven't seen the peak of the mountain, but the cliffs that make up the borders of the rock are breathtaking.
Yesterday at daybreak we arrived to a police escort (one large inflatable boat) to the anchorage area that they suggested we use. Of course, we are the only anchored boat in about a 1,500 mile radius.
After anchoring Puma’s Mar Mostro in about 20 meters of water, we all went in on the RIB to meet several of the town administrators eager to help.
Housing, food, coffee, showers – all the necessities that we were craving were provided. And, of course, that 9 am cold beer!
Land Ho! Tristan da Cunha on the horizon just before nightfall. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG is dismasted in the South Atlantic Ocean during Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. (Credit: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)
Police Inspector Conrad Glass explained the rules. We met the harbormaster – Jonathan Swain’s long-lost relative; Iris, the Minister of Tourism; Lorraine, the Treasurer and hairdresser; Sean Burns, the British government administrator, and of course Andy, the radio and communications director. And, so on and so on. I am leaving a lot of important people out for sure, but the fact is they are all fantastic.
The rest of the day was all about getting organized and relaxing. Figuring out how we are going to deal with our yacht on anchor. A night in the pub for the boys, and Jono and I took the first night shift on the boat. Pretty much setting up a routine that we will likely follow until the ship gets here to bring us back to the mainland.
Today will be golf day. Played in a cow pasture with flags but no greens. For sure the cow patties will bring a new meaning to 'lift, clean and place.' Ought to be interesting. We have trips planned to nearby Nightingale Island, a hike up the mountain, and of course more boat chores than we know what to do with. For sure we will keep busy.
In the meantime, we use the internet cafe to constantly check on communication from our families and look up the progress of the ship heading this way. The clock is ticking louder ever minute.
To all who have sent the team notes of support we thank you. Time to relax a bit. And hit a few golf balls.
Puma Ocean Racing website