Volvo Ocean Race - Life becomes standard aboard Puma's Mar Mostro

Ken Read looks back at some weather forming near the exit of the Doldrums. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa.
Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 has reached its twelfth day and aboard Puma’s Mar Mostro, life has finally become pretty standard. Skipper Ken Read shares with us what the crew has been up to.

Long drawn-out reaches through oceans, sweaty people below combined with the intensifying stench of smelly sneakers, and of course the standard equator crossing ritual. All in a day’s work.

We are about to have one interesting moment, a landmark in Leg 1 which is the rounding of Fernando de Noronha. It’s interesting because they always bring out a 'Navy' ship to check out the fleet one by one - kind of a 'McHale’s Navy' looking vessel. The ship visit is a baptism for all the new guys and a ritual for those who have done this before, and you hop on the VHF and talk with someone other than the other ten other people onboard. It’s the little things in life.

The equator crossing went without a hitch. I will introduce the ceremony that took place, but don't want to spill the beans too much as I am sure you will all see it in HD tomorrow or the next day. What I can say is that King Neptune and an atrocious looking Queen Codfish showed up and gave our two rookies – Amory Ross and Rome Kirby – quite a thrashing. I played videographer, so the quality of the video will be outstanding! I am planning on winning the video award for this leg.

Besides that, nothing hugely eventful. Tom Addis did a great job getting us through the Doldrums, and we kept our slim lead over the ever present Telefónica boys. We have literally gone the same speed as Telefónica all day today according to the scheds. On one sched, we had the same speed right down to 1/100th of a knot! This will continue and is a little nerve wracking, but it is what we signed up for. Looks like Camper and Groupama are out of the clutches of the Doldrums as well, so the long chase around the South Atlantic high pressure is now officially on!

For more information on the race, team and crew here