Since the beginning of my project I have always said that the Vendee Globe is so much more than "just" a solo nonstop race around the planet, as if that wasn't already a lot! Thats why I converted the boat to be zero emissions, so I could better carry the values that are important to me .
I would also like to use this race to inspire a love for our oceans and help nurture an appreciation for the fact that they need protecting. The first step is education and today I launched a scientific buoy from the program Argonautica which teaches French school children about the ocean's currents as part of their science syllabus at school. The buoy has a tracker on it, just like out boats, and will be used to show the path of the surface currents in the southern ocean. Using race boats for the program is a great idea because it saves the cost and impact of a huge research vessel and is just one more example of how the for miniaturization of technology democratizes these great projects and allows students to launch interesting projects with fewer and fewer resources.
I may well be wrong, but I think it was Teddy Roosevelt who said that he didn't need to see inside the wonders of the Yellowstone National Park, just knowing it was there, and protected, was enough. I may be one of the few people crazy or privileged enough to come here and enjoy the wild blue oceans but if I can help share an appreciation for them then this participation in the Vendee really will have been about more than just a race.
Ah, the race! Well, the cadence has changed a lot in the past day. Gone is the constant deluge and the grey skies, they'e been replaced by bright sunlight smooth(er) seas and gentle reaching conditions. Conditions were so mild down at 45 degrees south today that I was able to emerge from my wet layers and spend the day barefoot and topless in order to soak up some Vitamin D and scratch some itches that are normally buried by several layers. I am unfortunately in prime sailing conditions for the gennaker that was destroyed in my firey wipeout and as such am scooting along under smaller sails than would be ideal. To put things in scale, instead of sailing with my big gennaker I am sailing with my small spinnaker which is more than 50 square meters smaller, so I am missing the equivalent of an entire inner city apartment! While I'm under performing now I'll be able to send it with the big spinnaker again soon!