by Amory Ross
Volvo Ocean Race is on day fourteen of racing for leg one. Amory Ross, MCM, onboard Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg reports on the crew's progress:
Tom Addis and Ken Read discuss weather at the Nav station. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
Straight-line sailing can be monotonous, even on a Volvo 70. After 'rounding' Fernando de Noronha there’s been little to do but critique sail trim, eat, sleep, laugh, and do whatever you can to stay cool or smell better (impossible, I say). We’re all back into our routines and it sounds like it’ll be this way for another few days before we encounter some stronger weather to the south. I don’t mean to say it’s boring – the sailing conditions are superb – there’s just not much in the way of irregular action around here.
So, on the topic of routines, I’ll give my 2011-2012 Puma Ocean Racing Team powered by Berg leg one 'watch breakdown,' and some more recognizable routines they tend to exhibit at this early stage of the race:
Rome and Kelvin – The quiet watch. Fashion fanatics. Between Kelvin’s Marmo floppy and Rome’s Puma flatbrim, speed meets style and these are the go to guys. Kelvin’s a coffee fiend and Rome’s staying away from the stuff cold turkey. One night he had two and it was a very big deal.
Tony and Michi – The mealtime watch. These two go on deck at exactly the times I need to have the food prepared: 4 am, 12 pm, and 8 pm. If I don’t have my freeze-dried fired up and ready to chow by the time they’re up, I have to explain myself to the two biggest guys on the boat. Michi has an affinity for tropically flavored chewing gum, and Tony likes to play king.
Ryan and Jono – The hot drink watch. Ryan and Jono rarely turn down a boiled beverage. Jono made me put milk in his tea, an English thing I guess. It was an idea I rejected at first but I’ll be honest in saying it smells really good. I’m going to pass on the powdered dairy variety but am looking forward to giving it a proper test-drive in Cape Town. Ryan’s biggest offense is his insistence on poaching M&M’s, one by one, from all of the trail mix bags.
Casey and Brad – The eaters. When Michi and Tony go up, Casey and Brad come down, which means they get second crack at the food bin. Casey eats anything and a lot of it, but Brad…Brad is the critic. He’s my hardest customer, and in a good way: many of the culinary changes in store for Leg 2 are essentially my trying to make him happy. Casey’s the funny guy with the purple shoes, heavy on the sarcasm.
Floaters: Tom and Ken – Free of a watch schedule, their routines are a little less definitive, but it’s safe to say they both live and die by every third hour’s position report. The two alternate between the bunk and the nav station, monitoring the boat’s performance, communications, and – of course – navigation, wind, and weather. Ken has a peanut butter and jelly stash, and Tom is an extremely calculated thinker and Microsoft Excel ace. They’re both excellent in front of the camera.
Puma Ocean Racing website