Boat crews email updates to the Volvo Ocean Race coordinators in Southampton, England, on their experiences at the beginning of Leg Four across the Southern Ocean. Original grammar, spelling and syntax is preserved and unedited.
o Sometimes we sail with a shy kite [spinnaker] at 140 twa [true wind angle] then we have the 2 foot deep, ice jacuzzi. When we go with the blast reacher at 110 twa we have the five degree [temperature] fire hose. Take your pick. In all cases everyone rides on the stack behind the helmsman to keep the bow up [out of the water]. It is a good place to view the scene. To be sadly honest, I love it. It is so bizarre, that you have to love it for the experience." — Paul Cayard, Amer Sports One
o "We’ve started waking up the new watch 40 minutes before they’re due on deck. Its a little earlier than usual, but just enough time to put on the many layers of clothes we require out here." — Anthony Nossiter, djuice
o "Waffler [Stu Bettany] started running around doing all his preparations for the change, as the wind was getting lighter quickly and a serious amount of snow was coming down. Because the wind dropped 10 knots and the decks were keeping dry, the snow stayed on deck and for Waffler, this turned him into a 5 year old who was playing with the snow and throwing snow balls at every body." — Dirk de Ridder, illbruck
o "Many boats today reported growlers, small bits of ice, which were not showing up on the radar screen. This is scary. What do you do at night? Good question — we do not have an answer, except hang on and hope for the best. It is very difficult to sleep when you do get the chance. The boat is shuddering and bouncing around on top of the waves. The water noise is incredibly loud, rushing by at 25-30 knots of boat speed. Working the spinnaker sheet in and out as the boat surfs over every wave is probably the loudest noise on the boat." – John Kostecki, illbruck
o "Never seen so many icebergs and growlers in all my sailing in the Southern Ocean. Spotted our first one and then all of a sudden sighted many others with growlers everywhere. We were sailing thru, surfing at 23 knots, small bits of ice and at one stage we passed within 20 feet of growler. Those jokes ‘the ice bergs go away at night’ have disappeared and there is real concern." — Ross Field, News Corp
o "Icebergs are very scary things. Yesterday morning Alby [Pratt] saw a whale about five metres from the boat just under the water. We would have been in a very serious situation if we had hit it as we were doing 20 knots. Icebergs somehow are much more scary and I have a faint suspicion that they don’t go to sleep at night as some people have theorized." — Nicholas White, News Corp
o "We have two men on ice watch, one staring at the radar and another checking forward with night vision goggles. We passed many growlers during the day and saw many on the radar at night. As for the night vision, well I don’t know what the call would be if the spotter at the mast saw one anyway because your range of vision at 25-30 knots of boat speed would take only seconds to reach what you saw." — Grant Wharington, djuice
o "It’s a great experience to come down here, but one that does not need to be repeated too often in my view." — Steve Hayles, Tyco
o "Will not be sorry to see this part of the race gone. There are definitely better ways to enjoy yourself on a yacht." — Kevin Shoebridge, Tyco
o "There are times like this when you wonder why I am doing this crazy race." — Richard Clarke, illbruck
Quotes from the crew of the Volvo Ocean Race boats are used with permission: www.volvooceanrace.org.