Time does a strange thing offshore. Sometimes time flies by--where there are not enough hours in the day - and other days creep by. Some days repeat themselves so much that you could swear you are the living rendition of the blockbuster film, Groundhog Day. It feels as if we have had one week to go until Newport, RI USA for at least two weeks.
Just under five years since she started sailing, Sara Hastreiter is doing her first Volvo Ocean Race. To put this in perspective, some of the guys in the other teams have over 10 years' experience offshore sailing, so it's kudos to Sara that she's been able to develop the physical and mental skills required to sail in the world's toughest ocean race.
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.