We set off from Rio on Leg 3 in warm sunshine and choppy seas. As usual all 12 boats did a parade of sail around the harbour and then crossed the start line. After rounding a couple of buoys placed just off Copacabana and Ipanema beaches we headed out to sea into a strong wind which meant fairly tough sailing. Heeled over at an angle with waves crashing over the decks, which means water down necks, up boots and sleeves. Despite neoprene seals on all openings in the foul weather gear the sea always finds a way in!
The first few days have been fairly tough with many of the crew afflicted by seasickness and minor injuries from being thrown about below deck. We have rigged up a rope from one side of the galley to the other so that you can pull yourself up to the high side, as walking unaided is simply impossible.
The weather has eased now and the dreaded seasickness has left the boat so life is a lot easier, and as I write we are bowling along at 11 knots in glorious sunshine. Jamaica was the first boat to reach the scoring gate, beating Quingdao by 13 minutes (we like narrow margins) and so have picked up 3 bonus points. As
we are further north than most of the fleet the weather over he next few days will determine whether the tactic has paid off, or whether we are sailing into the middle of the S. Atlantic high pressure system where there is no wind.
We have not seen any wildlife so far on this leg apart from some albatrosses, recognisable not just by their enormous wingspan, but also by the fact they never flap their wings, soaring and gliding effortlessly across the skies - just amazing.
At present this is Friday Day 7 and we reckon another 10 days to Cape Town, cold beers, flushing toilets and showers..... it's the simple things that become so important.