After a short break in New Zealand, Team SCA is back! During the stopover, Team SCA's shore crew has been busy at the team base camp preparing our boat for the next leg to Brazil. Our Volvo 65 has been out of the water, refurbished, refitted and customized for the special conditions expected in the Southern Ocean.
This north-south leg from Sanya to the 'city of Sails' in Auckland has so far delivered everything you could hope for, and expect, from the toughest ocean race in the world. Life on board has been pretty much full-on since the start and I'm amazed at how the whole crew accept, handle and deal with every situation that is thrown at them. ..
There was no better day for me to start the Volvo Ocean Race. After three legs of watching my team mates race from the shore, I've been itching for my turn to join them on the Volvo 65 - though after going through everything with Corinna (my fellow Onboard Reporter), it was sad to wave goodbye as we left Sanya...
Sailing to the Eastern world has been a bit surreal. When you're out there, offshore, you're in a bubble--you know you're moving and racing to some place new, but it's not like traveling on an aeroplane. Travel by air takes hours, not weeks, so when you arrive in a new place it's generally not as over whelming.
Despite a less than comfortable life down below, we're all pretty excited for the next couple of days. Around 2100 tonight we're due to reach the top of Sumatra (finally!) and begin our journey through the Malacca Straits. The Malacca Straits are like a busy marine highway and we have a narrow path to scoot through, which also includes fishing boats and shallow waters.
It's a very interesting time here in Abu Dhabi as we break down the leg. The important thing to remember is that this is all a time for the benefit of the team and the race as a whole. So, watch out, Team SCA is coming back on 3 January with a fighting vengeance as we navigate our way through tricky seas to Sanya, China!
If you've watched any of the Volvo Ocean Race video content (you can find a bunch of ours on the Team SCA website), you'd most likely gather that out here it's 100% carnage 100% of the time. However, this can be a bit deceptive as generally, especially in the last few days, for us it's been far from carnage.
Life on board is finally beginning to look "normal" again. For the last four days (although it feels like more!) we've been living a flat life. Cooking, changing, sleeping, and eating were all incredibly easy. Yes, it's been excruciatingly hot so life hasn't been that easy, but you are easily spoiled by flat water, no wind conditions.