The Portal to the Other Side.
The night had just started when Esprit de Corps IV crossed a strange storm system. A stroboscope of flashes was illuminating starbord side, while a pitch black sky was on port side. Right in the middle, about a half a mile wide, was what seemed to be a safe passage opening under gray clouds. «Maybe it’s the portal to the bermuda triangle», joked someone on deck. It was close to it ! Slowly entering the passage, the monohull found itself in a long, rainy, strip, with weak blows that made the wind marker spin around in all directions. Then, deep into the night, lights of a fishing boat cruising straight upon us appeared on the starbord side, making the helmsman jump. The radio calls from the captain remained unanswered, so the crew disperately illuminated the white sails of the Volvo Ocean Racer with their frontals, without any reaction from the motorised monster. There was a slight margin, but everybody on deck go very tensed. Under a very dark sky, a continuous rain and and unstable wind, crew had to do many jibes. The night watch ended with a somehow satisfactory feeling. But the calm hours that followed were nontheless frustrating. Esprit de Corps IV, with its famous spinnaker Tour du monde once again hoisted, is more than ready for the long awaited northern wind that is expected. Maxime Grimard, the supersticious second officier, served once again his lucky cassoulet. If only the weather could help.