Ross + thinking time = ?

8 12 2011

Hi

I have been on deck for the last few hours, steering, trimming, thinking (which is dangerous) and watching the beautiful albatross just cruising through the air, totally free and not governed by anything, and here we are going around a stupid mark to keep us out of the southern ocean.
I expect there will be a yellow racing buoy there that we can round.  I have been wondering what will happen if you hit the buoy and there is no-one there to check?  I hope we can claim buoy room at the mark!!!

I am at two minds in relation to these methods to keep us out of the southern ocean and away from ice bergs.  It seems to me that we are now ruled by rules and it is not left up to the individual to take responsibility for his or hers own actions.  We sign waiver to exonerate everyone in case things go wrong but still restrictions are put in place.

A question:

What happened in previous Round the World Races when there were no restrictions – you went where ever you liked.  I remember being at 60 south. I remember in one particular RTW Race a boat got caught on the wrong side of a low pressure, too far south that they were sailing through ice sludge – no one died.  Right at the moment there is a 120 foot trimaran charging through the southern ocean doing 40 knots, planning their own route, missing the ice bergs we hope – go the French – even though they can’t play rugby they know how to sail with freedom!!

Our lives are slowly being governed to allegedly make life safer for us all, but I believe we are becoming a nanny state and just accept things when they are taken away from us.  Western Springs speedway (Auckland NZ) is a classic case as restriction after restriction are being placed upon the organisers to try and slowly close them down because of excessive engine noise.  The track has been operating for longer than I care to remember and it’s a great family outing, but councils are trying to take it away because the nanny neighbours complain about a good old raw of engine now and again.

You now can’t organise anything without safety and health, crowd control issues being addressed.  You can’t make a pot of jam and sell to a market without a license.  You can’t go cycling down the road with wearing a helmet.  You can’t smoke anywhere now (I am not a smoker) You can’t do this, you can’t do that, our TV’s are blasted with messages about what you can do and what you can’t do.  The list goes on.

What about everyone taking responsibility for their own actions -PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY –  if you don’t like the noise of the speed way – don’t buy a house there.  If you don’t like the look of the jam don’t buy it. If you don’t like smoking in a pub go to another pub where there is no smoking.  Where a helmet on your bike if you like.  If you want to race in the southern ocean you go down there, ice bergs and all.

Anyway, enough of that – I told you it was dangerous to let me think.

Sailing wise, we’re very comfortable where we are at, close to the leaders and making good speed at the moment.  The plan for the next week or so is complicated as we try and dodge high pressure systems.  Campbell came up some bad news today – he’s predicting that we won’t finish until the New Year – bloody hell I have got to get home quicker than that to mow the lawns!!!  We have enough good food for the remainder of the leg, but we might run out of our special coffee 1 + 1 + 1 – coffee, chocolate sugar – it’s a great mix from Nestles (I am not even sponsored by them) and we will run out of xmas cake kindly given to us by Miranda’s (Halvard’s better half) mum – its beautiful – nearly as good as my mother in laws (I had better say that).

Better go and get some sleep.  Even my sleeping bag has a warning on it – MIGHT BLOW UP IF YOU SMOKE IN IT WITH THE ZIP DONE UP!!!!

Cheers.
Ross

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