Morale soars as the kite goes up on Global Challenge yacht BG Spirit

The old map makers used to identify the wild and unexplored areas of the world with the words “Hic sunt dracones” – here are dragons! The Southern Ocean is perhaps the only place left where that is true – certainly the welcome we have received would do any self respecting dragon proud. If you have been reading these logs you’ll know that we struggled round Cape Horn and into the dragons’ lair in 30 knots and then spent the next couple of days fighting the same conditions.

One advantage of the adverse conditions though is that our team spirit has increased again. Morale has remained very high and laughter is the background noise to most activities on the boat. After all this is the Southern Ocean so it would be churlish to complain just because we are cold, wet and suffering from lack of sleep. By the way if you want to know what it feels like to be hit by Southern Ocean spray in 30 knots, just get a hand full of wet gravel, chill it in the freezer for a couple of hours and then have someone throw it in your face every 30 secs or so – that should give you a pretty good idea!!

However even these southern dragons need a rest sometimes and yesterday was the day! Clear blue sky, light wind and only the gentle rolling of a big swell left over from the storms. We got the Genoa up and have been flying the kite since early this morning – not something I expected down here. I didn’t think we would see them again until Wellington!

The calm conditions have given us the chance to recover and to discuss the highlights of the last few days, laugh at each other’s mishaps while visiting the heads and relive those adrenaline filled moments on the foredeck in 30 odd knots! We have also been able to marvel at the sea birds that are so well adapted to this environment that they have stayed with the boat, flying effortlessly just above the waves no matter what the weather conditions.