Dee Caffari blogs from on board Turn the Tide on Plastic in the Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 2 from Lisbon to Cape Town - 7,000 miles of ocean sailing, taking in the region of 21 days.
By Dee Caffari
Last Updated: 13/11/17 3:49pm
In this leg we head out from Europe picking up the trade winds, being careful to manage our passage past Madeira, the Canary Islands and the Cape Verde Islands.
These are high islands that create a large wind shadow.
From the trade winds we try and pick our point for passing through the doldrums, an area of notorious light winds, squalls and thunderstorms. It is tricky and important to head south through that area.
Then we cross the equator where we ask for safe passage from King Neptune - the Lord of the Sea. The trusty Shellbacks (those who have crossed before) sacrifice those yet to be initiated. The ceremony takes place and the newbies are made to suffer.
I have six to initiate in this strong tradition that is all part of sailing around the world. Once in the southern hemisphere we pick up the south-east trades and negotiate the St Helena high pressure, trying to get to Cape Town as fast as possible.
Depressions from South America can help slingshot us across. In the final days, we get a glimpse into life in the Southern Ocean as we get fast wet and wild, sailing in cold conditions just before heading into Table Bay under the iconic sight of Table Mountain.
The first few days were wet and wild and fast sailing. Lots of water cascades along the deck, everything was wet, everyone was wet, but happy. Living has been tricky with the crew just managing to eat and sleep a little before being woken to gybe.
Many of us have yet to even remove our boots and trousers as we sleep ready for action. I know I have a very wet left foot but while it stays in my boot it stays warm. We made our way south-west where the sea temperature was rising. The sea temperature is warmer than the air temperature, which is lucky as we are regularly hosed with walls of water.
Thirty knots of wind has now dropped to 20-25 knots of wind but we are still trying to sail as fast as possible and not lose too much to the rest of the fleet.
It is still a long way to go with the most difficult section of the race still to come. The doldrums can be easy or hard and often sees a shake-up of the positions. Those who come out first make the gains. We've got to keep pushing.
Dee and Team Turn the Tide On Plastic.
Follow details of our progress on the Sky Sports rolling Volvo Ocean Race blog here: