by Ken Read
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 4 of Leg 3. Ken Read, Skipper of Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg reports on the crew's progress:
Mesh bunks help with breathability, but sleeping is difficult any way you cut it in the Indian Ocean heat. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
'Hot as a ...' you fill in the blank.
That is what we have going out here…90 degree water and a black boat means no reprieve even at night. It has to be 110+ F below most of the time, but fortunately there is not much water on deck so all of the hatches except for the forward hatch are open. Fans in each bunk that tack from side to side are the most prized possessions on the boat.
It has been a hectic couple of days, of course. It is amazing how much of this race is dictated by squalls – day or night. What simply looks like a pretty cloud, and doesn't look ominous at all, turns out to be a 30 degree wind shift and dramatic wind change. We have had our share, as I am sure every boat can tell the tale.
The problem is we had the plan to stay left, and after a couple of bad clouds the second night we ended up getting Camper and Telefónica shifted up on us in pretty nice spots. We have been able to fight off Camper, but Tele has done their customary fast sailing in the high lane and will probably come out of this long drag race on top as we enter the Malacca Strait.
As for the rest of us, Camper, Groupama and ourselves have been within eyeball range pretty much since the start of this leg and that doesn't seem to be changing any time in the near future. It makes it a bit more stressful on the boat, but certainly gives everyone a constant measuring stick which is a good thing.
The boys are all in good spirits despite the heat. Ryan made himself a little iPod holder next to his bunk out of sticky back tape, and apparently that little holder also holds water. In a crushing blow to Ryan, he had to dispose of his beloved iPod after it absorbed quite a bit of liquid.
Besides that, it is business as usual. Really not much to report. Just wish we had an AC unit on board, but then nobody would ever go on watch.
Puma Ocean Racing website