The latest from Ross and Campbell

1 10 2011

From Campbell Field…

Another close encounter today with the old Fisher & Paykel maxi ketch from the 89/90 Whitbread. We were sailing along minding our own business when this IOR beast came steaming over the horizon on our line, big spinnaker up, and mizzen staysail.

Quite an impressive sight, and I was dreading the start of old IOR stories from Ross…

They sailed right up to our transom, and looked determined to get a close look. We were worried about the wind shadow should they decide to try and sail over the top of us, so made out intentions clear. They relented and sailed very close to leeward – which in itself gave us a few anxious moments as they struggled to keep her tracking in a straight line. I go the camera out in case we needed some evidence for the big insurance claim, they might be a bit dubious in our description of the incident “mounted by a dinosaur”.

We had a chat on the VHF, and they were perplexed when I described that one of us on board soundly beat thier boat in 89/90, but they offered anyway for us to stop in the Canaries for a BBQ with them. When I declined as we were in a race and were close second to a french boat a few miles ahead of us they very kindly offered to go and run them over.

So they lumbered on ahead and over the horizon, and as we approached the northern tip of Lanzarote we overtook them again, which in itself is quite interesting, a 40′ boat racing around the world overtaking a what was then huge, state of the art racing machine. Apparantly (in one of Ross’ stories)  there were damn near high 5’s all round when they hit 10 kts, and hitting 20 was an event worth writing a book about.

I thought this boat was going to be a long trip around the globe, that must have felt like a month of Sundays!

From Ross Field…

Campbell reckons his old man doesn’t understand what a blog is let alone type one and I am sure he thinks that I don’t know how to use a computer!

We have had some fantastic sailing since the start and really pleased how we are going.  Made a couple of mistakes to let my old friend Halvard Mabire get through us outside the Mediterranean but we are right on his tail now.  We have him in our sights – 5 miles right on a bow and Campbell is convinced that we are getting closer – I hope he is right.

We are now sailing passed Lanzarote, with Africa on our port side and heading down to the Cape Verde Islands, then off across the Atlantic.  Campbell as spent hours looking at the weather and planning our route for the next week or so, but also looking at the long range forecast for the doldrums and the south Atlantic.

The days now just roll into days and we have now been racing for nearly a week – only four more weeks to go, but it passes real quick.

Life on board is great – eat when you like, make a mess, don’t wash, snore without being yelled at – the list goes on – but seriously, its real nice to be ocean racing and have some fantastic competition.  The only downside is that I am away from home a lot and I miss home, Jan (my wife) and all our animals in our beautiful home at Waipu Cove, Northland in New Zealand.

Of course we are both missing the Rugby World Cup but we are hopeful that we will be kept updated with the results.  I saw the All Blacks v French game whilst in Palma which was great, although I must admit I was nervous for the first 10 minutes.

As per usual I missed another grandchild’s birthday – Fraser was 1 years old today in the UK.  My daughter Paula, back in New Zealand, claims I am the most useless grandparent because I am never around – I have three beautiful granddaughters in New Zealand.

Better go and hound Halvard!!

Cheers. Ross