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Ericsson 4 Leg 4 Day 7
A very odd day indeed for the fleet. We have been sheltering behind Luzon Island for most of the day after trying to go upwind in 45+ knots. All I can say is that is was far from pleasant. We ended sailing the last few hours with storm jib only - slowly creeping our way closer to the top of the Philippines before waiting for an ease in pressure to attempt the crossing over to Taiwan and through some very tidal seas - which could be boat-wreckers to say the least.
As it happens Telefónica Blue have gone for it, whilst the rest of the fleet cower in the shelter - this will either be a stroke of leg winning genius or complete stupidity (if the boat breaks!).
Life below has been very unpleasant and I must admit to feeling very queasy whilst trying to operate the media desk - meanwhile the real men on this yacht have been toughing it out on deck without any rest.
We also have had a few wind instrument issues with the masthead units not being able to withstand the high wind speeds combined with the huge slamming and pounding we have been taking whilst heading north, but I’d hate to think of how many Gs the wands would be seeing as the boat stops after launching off a very steep wave.
The problem with these boats is that they just want to go fast and even with just the storm jib, we have been going 9kts. With more up it’s hard not to be doing 12kts and when you come off a wave at these speeds there is usually some damage - usually a sleeping bag or a sock launching off an upper bunk but potentially much worse. I honestly cannot see that the media desk as a whole will stand much more - I’m thinking of painting a black and yellow quartered circle on the top of it as it really does go through what a crash test dummy does. In fact, we are all dummies come to think of it and I’m sure there are some real cracking bruises around the class.
Cooking has been very hard work - pouring the hot water has been what I consider to be an extreme version of the feature about cub scouts eating their packed lunch on a roller coaster on 70s classic kids TV programme ‘Jim'll Fix It’ – it’s worth checking out on You Tube.
The boys are getting ready to put the sails up and the hammer down and throw ourselves in to the nasty conditions once more - guess I’d better get the computer away safely and strap myself down as its going to get nasty.
Guy Salter - MCM