Thursday, August 28, 2008

"don't break the vessel"

On board Puma Ocean Racing Volvo 70 - North Atlantic.
We are always in a dilemma. When practicing, or in this case delivering the boat across the Atlantic Ocean, we have to learn, with the goal being keep making the boat and team faster. But, at the same time, if we break the boat we will have to limp back to Rhode Island or up to Halifax, or wherever the wind would take a wounded boat in the North Atlantic. That would be bad, real bad. After all, we do not want to miss the start of this race.

Don’t worry, we aren't broken. Actually, we're anything but. The boat is handling like a dream out here and the crew is settling into a routine onboard. What I have ringing in my head though is our illustrious Operations and Shore Team Manager Neil Cox stating one very specific demand about 2 minutes from pushing us off the dock in Newport in his best Australian tongue, "Mate, whatever you do, don't break the vessel." I guess those words are better than one of the many songs he famous for singing around the base.

We Coxy, it is pretty hard to tame the monster at times. Navigator Andrew Cape got us nicely situated on the back side of a cold front and we just knocked off 254 miles in 12 hours. Not quite record pace but pretty quick none the less. And this is all happening while having "don't break the vessel" ringing in our ears. We have had a couple of interesting happenings onboard.

Our media guru Rick "Danger" Deppe wanted to label his clothes and gear with his initials - including his headlamp. Unfortunately for Rick, he put on the headlamp prior to the indelible ink drying and effectively stamped his initials backwards on his forehead. My guess is that those are there for a few days. He looks like the front of an ambulance. Anyway, all is good here.

We're getting back into the rhythm again, one of being wet and eating lousy food.