Posted By RichC on April 13, 2007
Earthrace is ripping and roaring … they are in Hawaii and off again. Here’s a segment from Captain Pete Bethune:
Thereâ€™s my star. Iâ€™ve seen him the last three nights on my shift from 2-4am. Heâ€™s brighter than all the rest around him. Maybe heâ€™s that star which is only a few light years from earth. He keeps going in and out of view behind the massive carbon mullions that support the windscreen. Itâ€™s an unusual windscreen on Earthrace I think to myself. More like a racecar than a boat. It is small, wrapping around you, only offering small sections to see through. But also like a small cocoon keeping us safe from the destructive seas just a few feet away.
The windscreen is actually designed to go up to 7m underwater with a factor of safety of 3. â€œSo at 21m underwater it all implodes on youâ€, Craig Loomes had said to me with a glint in his eye at one of our meetings. In sea trials around New Zealand we experienced 5m of wave on top of the windscreen, as we went through some enormous 12m waves. It was one of the scariest experiences of my life, and something I never want to repeat. So bugger 7m underwater I think to myself. Or 21m for that matter.
Itâ€™s now 2:30am and everyone else is asleep. Time for the few jobs I have at night. I scurry down to the engine bay and check the bank of Racor filters. All close to zero. Sweet. Next I check the fuel levels in our main and day tanks. Weâ€™re slightly down on fuel, which surprises me. Not sure why, but Iâ€™ll figure it out in the morning I tell myself, as I pop back into the drivers seat. I look out to starboard and my star is there, waiting for me.