Saint Nicholas-Update from Team Red
Class 40 "Red", skippered by Mathias Müller von Blumencron currently leads Class40-competitor "MarieJo" by a small margin of just 34 miles. However, Mathias found the time to share the latest news and experience from "Red". Enjoy!
"Good morning from the tropical zone of the Trades. Another wonderful night in the light of a beautiful moon (perhaps why I always get in a writing mood during the night shifts?). Many people celebrate today the Nikolaus-Fest. The kids find sweets and small gifts in their boots. We wouldn't put anything of value now in our seaboots. After 11 days on the ocean they have their own unpleasant microclimate. (although we mostly wear crocs these days).
After so many days on the boat, we are completely in the routine. But what does that mean for four guys on a spartanic Class 40 in the middle of the Atlantic ocean? First of all it makes us think that our almost empty hull is a kind of very trustworthy home, where you perform everything which is neccessary for the well-being of its crew. We eat our Müslis in the morning, nuts and small sweetbars during the day and then comes the afternoon feast: dried salami or cabanossi with small rounds of pumpernickel. Drinks: Real Coffee (we even have a Coffee press on board), some tea and the rest is bottled water only. In the evening we have our freeze-dried food, mostly from the polish producer Lyo, the rest is good old Turmat from Norway. Freeze-dried food has improved immensely during the last years, especially Lyo, who won awards and whose meat and potatoes taste almost wonderful. Try Beef Stroganoff or Pork in Dill Sauce….
Routine also means sailing, of course. Everyday we look out on the same ocean, from the same boat. But every day, every moment on the ocean, is also very different than what you have seen the hour before. As autopilots are not allowed in this race, one of us is always on the helm, steering RED as quickly as possible across the bumpy waves. The other is assisting with trimming the sheets, feeding the helmsmn, and throwing the awfully stinky flying fishes which land in the cockpit as quickly overboard as possible (this night I got hit by one in the chest and now I have the smell in my nose whenever I wear my wetgear jacket).
Routine also means getting along as a crew, as we all depend on each others abilities, in sunny times, but also in crises like the night before. We handle the boat with very few words, everybody knows what to do, where and when to pull or ease. This is the best crew ever! But if we don't need words for sailing, what do four guys talk about the whole day and during all those magical nights? Well, not what you might think: girls are in some ways off topic. Of course we talk about boat stuff - how we could have done something better or improve this and that. We talk about our feelings, life on the sea, but also issues at home. How the partner is doing, goals and dreams in life, parents, family, even politics. And sometimes we are simply quiet and just enjoy being on this ocean, in this world, in this life.. Sounds all too boring? Well, come along...."
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