His was an orderly evacuation. The life raft was inflated and alongside Gartmore. Josh had managed to save a few items of personal equipment, not forgetting some gear he had borrowed, to return to the owners (pretty thoughtful, hey?). Kitted up in his survival clothes, he looked the part of the shipwrecked mariner as he scrambled out of the raft into my cockpit. With, I think, a grin on his face.
The worst part was the finality of it all as he cut the tether from Gartmore to the raft and was really solo for the few minutes it took to maneuver alongside the bright-orange canopy. It took us both some time to collect our wits. The priority was to get Josh down below to a Dinty Moore stew I had on the stove, as he had no time for food during his ordeal.
What is it like to suddenly have crew in a solo race? I think both our routines are out of whack, and it will take us a few days to settle down. The race has become secondary to just getting to Capetown so Josh can be with his family again. Suddenly to be able to have conversation is exhausting after 30 days of solitude, and I have to keep reminding myself to concentrate on racing.
As of Sunday night, the Newcastle Australia was in fourth place in Class II (yachts 40 to 50 feet), an estimated 15 days from Capetown. The BOC race committee has said it will deduct the time Nebauer spent rescuing Hall from his race total.