by Amory Ross
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 32 of Leg 1. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg reports on the crew's progress onboard Team Bremen:
PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG’s "Mar Mostro" rests onboard the "TEAM BREMEN," bound for Cape Town and the start of Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
Hello from the high seas. If you told me this would be Puma’s last blog of leg one I’d tell you you were crazy – at this point it seems like we’re eternally traveling to South Africa.
But sitting here, swaying back and forth in my Upper Deck cabin, I’ve been trying to reflect all day. I’ve attempted writing lists, humor, and sentiment, all to no effect. I think I’m suffering from some form of exhaustion: exhausted of this leg, exhausted of loud engines, exhausted of wondering when we’ll get to Cape Town, how much time we’ll have there, where our families are, how many emails remain unanswered, and when we can collectively bury the stress of the last few weeks. Unfortunately, a lot of that stress will be carried into leg two. We just don’t have enough time before December 11 and the leg start to properly decompress.
But, and it’s a big but – we do actually get to Cape Town late tonight, and on behalf of the whole team I offer a very, very loud: Finally! (exhale)
The amount of effort that has gone into getting us there is stunning. There are far too many people to thank. All we can say is that we owe you our race. You know who you are and you’ve probably heard it before, but we simply can’t say it enough. You have kept us going through thick and thin, and if there’s one new slice of life out here that I can offer, it’s that we’re extremely positive about our abilities and remaining opportunities, and nobody is doing anything at less than 100 percent.
Ryan Godfrey sewing damaged sails in the ships hold. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG onboard the "TEAM BREMEN," bound for Cape Town and the start of Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa, after dismasting and retiring from Leg 1. (Credit: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)
At this point we just want to go sailing. We all want to go back to doing our jobs. The sailors want to talk trim, analyze polars, and dissect scheds. I want to document racing, not drama. These are the kind of things that we signed up for and it seems like forever ago that we last had the chance to do them. But that’s where we’re at, mentally. We all want to get back in this race, and we will soon enough.
In other news, today’s game of Bremen ship-hold 'sport' turned into a melee of flying rugby balls and basketballs – great exercise and good fun. Team Puma was again victorious over the Euro/Philippine shipping crew and it feels good to reignite some of that healthy competitive spirit. Boat work is progressing nicely, but we’re nearing the point of completion: there’s not much more we can do out here with the limited tools we have. As such, plans for our midnight arrival are already in the works.
Play number one is to get the depowered Puma’s Mar Mostro off of the Bremen and into the water, immediately, as this ship needs to return to Durban ahead of some incoming weather. We’ll meet the shore team, clear customs, and then get the boat and the supplies to the compound. Soon thereafter we’ll pull the stubb-of-a-mast and haul the boat. Top of the morning work list: prep the new rig to be stepped midday and clean the boat – it looks like it’s been through hell. Then the new mast goes in, the boat gets re-splashed, and we’re back in business! Just like it never happened, right? Exactly. Nothing short of a miracle…
The next 48 hours are crucial to our state of racing readiness, so wish us luck. We’ve already had plenty in getting here, but we’ll take all we can get!
Puma Ocean Racing website