As if heat, stress of race aren't enough, crew learns its precious spoons join fish

Volvo log


March 16, 2002|By Chris Larson | Chris Larson,ASSA ABLOY

ABOARD ASSA ABLOY — Annapolis sailor Chris Larson, tactician aboard Swedish entry ASSA ABLOY in the Volvo Ocean Race, will provide readers of The Sun periodic updates as the fleet heads for the United States.

ABOARD ASSA ABLOY - One week into Leg 5, from Rio de Janeiro to Miami, there are two constant characteristics: incredibly close racing between Tyco, illbruck, and ASSA ABLOY, and incredibly hot temperatures.

We continually work hard to get every bit of speed out of our boat, but it seems as if there is always a shuffle among the three boats. We have never lost sight of each other for the past seven days and 1,300 nautical miles.

Stressful, yes. Boring, never. The real story is that all three boats are scared to death to be the first to enter the Doldrums, which are still 300 miles away. All that matters is that we're first into Miami some 11-12 days from now.

Hot, hot, hot describes life on board. Yesterday, it reached 98 degrees F with high humidity. Below decks is more unbearable due to the lack of ventilation. Sleeping during the daytime is almost impossible.

One of the small dilemmas that always seems to happen out here took place two days ago. Jules Mazars, one of our trimmers, was washing dishes below in a bucket because our sink drain impeller is broken.

Jules was called on deck to help with a maneuver. Unfortunately, he had left five of our six spoons in the bottom of the wash bucket, which was filled with water. Crewman Richard Mason came downstairs to tidy up the galley and emptied the bucket. Now we have one precious spoon left.

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