Bianca reports on leg three: VOR 2017/2018
WHERE IN THE WORLD: Cape Town to Melbourne
Merry belated Christmas everyone and hello from Melbourne.
I survived the Southern Ocean and I’m safe and sound in sunny warm, Australia. It’s so nice to be in shorts and t-shirt for a change. The leg was a quick one and although we pushed to finish on Christmas day we just missed out and sailed in yesterday to a great crowd of people on the dock. It got so cold during the leg and although I was wearing 3 x base layers, a fleece layer (top and bottom) a mid layer jacket, full one piece mid layer, thermal underwear, a beanie, balaclava, 3 x socks, sea boots, gloves and a dry suit at times, it was still cold and so wet…. may need to invest in some thicker layers for the next Southern Ocean leg! My toes are still numb from trying to wear too many pairs of socks and then squeezing my feet into my boots. Hopefully the feeling come back before I have to get my dancing shoes on for New Years Eve.
The Southern Ocean was rough and there were some good slams going on and sleep was but a distant memory for a lot of it. Getting out of the warm sleeping bag to face the fire hose for 4 hours was a tough one, but sending it down the waves at some good pace was worth it. I did get a chance to helm during this leg and the adrenaline of realising you were sailing in the Southern Ocean on a VO65 in the Volvo Ocean race was pretty incredible. We had two crash gybes and one of them was a big one. I was down stairs in my bunk and when the boat started to roll so did my bunk pinning me out board. But we were all safe and got the boat back up and running pretty quick.
Sailing into Melbourne was a little slow going as we waited for the breeze to fill in. Crossing the finish line was a joyous moment and the Aussie’s gave us a proper welcoming. Now that i’ve showered, and managed a full 8 hours of sleep in a huge double bed (which I only occupied a quarter of) I’m feeling more like a human and happy to be spending some time with the family. My first proper meal ashore I smashed all the broccoli in everyone’s meals. Fresh fruit and veg is the thing I missed the most.
Now time to get the boat ready to leave again for Hong Kong. This time however i’ll be on the dock waving the boat off as I take a break for a leg and spend some well earned time with the family at home. I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and you have an incredible New Years.