No, decidedly Gitana 13 doesn't like it! She detests these long days beating against 20 - 27 knot winds and in particular this short, little chop, which the two floats never quite manage to position themselves on at the same time. Unrestrainedly twisting the platform, the waves restrict the carbon. The fibre rebels as it seldom enjoys these ‘elastic games', and responds by springing back violently, which makes life on board pretty unbearable: sleeping becomes an impossibility and consists of hanging onto the bunk with both hands. Eating is an extremely perilous exercise too and despite the numerous precautions, only part of the water from the kettle ends up in each cup. Each crew member on watch is given a real dowsing and the hood becomes a highly sought after refuge.
At the keyboard, it's like being a child of two who is learning to eat… In short these headwinds are transforming our descent towards the equator into a long, laborious exercise and it has already added a few extra days to our record. We knew this would be the case when we set off, but we're just hoping that this will be the difficult part of the course and that the Indian and Atlantic Oceans will dish up their customary big surfs.
As regards food, the crew has got back into their ‘good' habits. No fried food: it'll be Chinese noodles and freeze-dried food all the way to the finish now. Fortunately, together with Ronan Le Goff, we got a good supply of fruit prior to our departure: bananas, apples, watermelons, mangos, oranges, lemons and grapefruit will be our only fresh food during this long spell of ‘stomach punishment'. We'll have to make sure that everything's consumed in a certain order and at a certain time...
Tomorrow we're going to reach the waters of the island of Natuna, midway between Borneo and Singapore.