Day 20: Kurumi Prep
Hello to our avid followers, the past few days have been very busy, as one could imagine. So just to keep you all up to speed on the next sequence of blogs:
1. Day 20 (mine) is all about prep before the storm
2. Emma will write on day 21 and 22 (Storm time)
3. Hamlet will write on today (Day 23)
Let's talk about Cyclone Kurumi (which we found out means Boy in Tupi-Guarani). Now for many of us boy has the meaning of a young male. One that still has a high pitch voice and won't do much damage when it hits you. Well. Not this boy. This boy is a sub-tropical depression with an extended front which included secondary low pressures. Basically the storm that everyone was talking about was a very hectic Tropical storm that we sailed into.
The Race Committee contacted the entire Cape2Rio fleet to inform us of this Sub-tropical depression that was forming just off the East coast of South America in the Cabo Frio region. Contrary to popular belief we did receive the email and did take its advice of staying north of the storm - well to a certain extent.
As responsible students we started the Kurumi Prep. Kurumi Prep was focussed on making sure the boat was ready to sail into the storm. I'll run you through how prep day played off.
Hearn, our bosun took to the deck of the boat with tape and shifting spanner in hand and and meticulously checked all the bolts, nuts, shackles and bascially everything that could come undone he tigtened to a point of no return. Just for extra measure he taped over all the shackles, pins and anything sharp to keep the boat safe because you know Rule 3.
Now that all the shackles and bolts were tight and taped up it was time to tackle the laserette. Toolboxes tied down again, gas bottles re-tied and diesel tanks got a safety strop put over them.
Lastly we started prepping the inside of the boat. Pots Tied down, extra water was made as we would not make water during the storm, Suncream taped in its place, windows lined with vaseline to prevent water leakage. Beds were made for the first time this trip. Students frantically trying to find all their ziplocks so to seal all their clothes again to keep them dry! Headlights charged, water bottles prepped, everything tied down - we were ready.
The wind is slowly starting to build and swing forward, so we took down the Big Bush and put up what must be our most majestic kite - Norwegian Blue. Norwegian blue is named after the bird and is always referenced to as "Wonderful Bird the Norwegian Blue, Beautiful Bloomage" courtesy of Monty Python. Anyway, this kite is made from a gorgeous turquoise, blue cloth and the sight of her has people frozen in disbelief that a spinnaker could be so magical. You get the picture, we like this kite, it is pretty and not to mention it is my dad's favourite kite. We had 15 knots of breeze, Hamlet on the helm, Hearn on vang and myself trimming while the other three prepared dinner. Ryan pops his head up "dinner is ready", you can just feel everyones excitement when suddenly- BANG! A gunshot goes off, or what we wished was a gunshot. I look around to see if anyone is bleeding, everyone is fine. I turn to the front of the boat, and my heart sinks. With tears in my eyes I just witnessed the death of our beloved Norwegian Blue! It was brutal, she was in pieces, it was a heart wrenching moment for us all. We sat in silence (respectfully) before hopping to and retrieving what was left of our kite. A very Sad day indeed.
With the wind picking up we put in a reef and noticed that our top batten had pocked it nasty head through the main sail. So we dropped the main and did the adequate repair. We were on our way again, now with a reefed main and our smallest spinnaker up that we named Hollywood (dm for the reason).
The tragic death of our code zero left our team broken. Hearn gave in and started to smoke again. Jono slammed the coach roof so hard it broke off. Ryan dug into his nights snacks. T was silent. Emma started prepping what was already prepped for the storm. I went to the forpeack and inspected the broken kite and then shed yet another tear.
We had done so well up to now, no damage done to the boat, sails or our egos until day 20. At least our boat was ready to hit Kurumi before it hit us!
Today was a rough day but it couldn't get worse, or so we thought until day 21 came around...
Until next time
- Michaela Robinson