The Southern Ocean was supposed to be the most challenging part of our first leg. Three metre waves crashing over the boat, freezing temperatures, physically exhausting, but sailing fast, fast, fast. The reality is, the most challenging part has become the journey to get to the Southern Ocean. Each day, with little to no wind, we get a little closer but the map and the route doesn't seem to get any smaller. There still seems to be a lot of miles between now and the illusive Southern Ocean!
There are a few key ingredients needed in sailing: a boat (that floats), sails, and wind. For the last three days, we've had no wind. No, we're not back in the doldrums, but we have not had the wind we expected and need to get us back with the fleet. For most of the race its felt like we've been playing catch up to the leaders, and the other night, when we sat under a rain cloud for eight hours, it only got worse.
It feels like we are running as fast as we can in thigh high water, but the rest of the teams are running on dry land. It's not that we're running as hard as we can, it's just without wind we can't move very quickly.
Abby, one of our sailors from the UK, said that it's frustrating because you're sailing the boat fast and really well, but sometimes you just get unlucky. And we got unlucky.
But there's something infectious happening: the more frustrated we get, the harder we fight back. We have not, and refuse to, give up. There's two ways to take this unfortunate chain of events: accept and simply sail or sail the best we can, hitting the performance numbers. Rest assured, we have the latter mentality.
We're racing our own race. We're making sure that we perform the best we can, in the conditions the weather Gods have decided to deal us. Perhaps there is a reason to this unfortunate chain of luck: to become a stronger team, to know we can overcome the hardest of situations.
By no means is staying positive easy but we're gaining the experience to get us through the darkness. Through the darkness, we will find the light. For the last few days, our light has been in the thousands and thousands of Team SCA supporters and followers.
Each day, quotes of inspiration come through and help open the cave a little bigger. Each day, we start over; one day at a time - focusing on the conditions we have. We look forward but we know we cannot rely on the weather forecast, especially in the upcoming days as we head into the Southern Ocean, where the weather is constantly changing.
So please keep the positive vibes and the great comments coming - they're helping us sail faster and harder. They're helping us fight and making us stronger. Together, we are Team SCA.