Sunday, December 21, 2008

Life on a knife edge... Sodeb'O

Life on a knife edge - Translated by Kate Jennings – Expression

Making headway in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, otherwise referred to as the middle of nowhere, Thomas Coville is back on a ‘supersonic’ point of sail thanks to a good NW’ly wind which should remain established at 25/30 knots for the next 3 days.

Slipping along in the pitch black night at over 34 knots, under two reef mainsail and staysail, the skipper of Sodeb’O had this to say this morning: “At these speeds, you live like an animal, you turn into a machine. You become immune to the impact and the resonance; you no longer have the same references as you do on land. In the thick of the action, I have the numbers in my head, along with my reactions and sensations. When the boat stops, the psychological aspect takes the upper hand again. Your mind starts to think once more. It’s rather a special kind of behaviour. Due to the speed and the risk taking, I’ve never been as far as this into the relationship between the psychological and the physical.

When the boat drops into a wave, in the pitch black, you feel like you’re falling into an abyss. Aboard, it’s unbearable as you’re permanently being shaken and tossed about. You hit things and you don’t know what it is; it could be strings of algae which are as hard as tree trunks, or even seals. Life on a multihull at these kinds of speeds is something which is unimaginable for a landlubber and I myself couldn’t even have imagined it.

You can’t get off to sleep. You’re overcome with sleep at times but it’s impossible to control when you actually fall asleep, whatever method you try”. -