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Whitbread Log: Leg 5, Auckland to São Sebastião
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  Magnus and Paul said there was something big on the rudder and started laughing 'cause they said it was a big shark! Everyone was fighting to get a look.
Day 19 - Feb. 19, 1998

0157 GMT
39° 57'S, 056° 04'W

Miles to São Sebastião: 1,108

Place: 1st; distance ahead of 2nd-place boat: 649 miles

From: Mark Rudiger, Navigator, EF Language

Dear Mom,

The last couple o' days have been kinda boring here at Whitbread training camp, but today was really neat.

First, the instructors rousted us out of our bunks early in the dark for a sail change. I got to do "the pit" for Juggy. He's a neat kid from down under in Tasmania. He gave me a pat on the head after 'cause I didn't drop the pole on his head this time.

Then we took a break for some porrage (sic), and then we did another sail change. You didn't warn me this was going to be so much work. But I'm holding up OK.

Then there was a hole (sic) bunch of commotion in the back of the boat when Josh yelled something was tugging on the rudder. I was trying to take my nap. Everyone came running to the back until we were doing a wheely and they were looking through the underwater porthole.

Magnus and Paul said there was something big on the rudder and started laughing 'cause they said it was a big shark! Everyone was fighting to get a look. It was bent around the rudder and baring it's teeth at us. Stevie said get it off it's scaring me. So, we poked at it with a stick and it went away. Juggy got it on video.

Then a little later there was more commotion in the back again and everyone came running back again. This time we had half of Marine World on the rudder, with sea stars, urchins, mussles and stuff. We poked at it with a stick and it went away, too. I think the shark put it there 'cause he was mad at us.

Now i'm being punished 'cause I forgot to clean my bowl and they are making me stand up in the front in the fog and look out for sharks and kelp and pirates and other neat stuff.

If I'm good, then I can go down in the Navigatorium and watch TV. It only has one channel and the reception is not too good, so mostly I watch the instructors try and figure out what is going on with weather and where to go.(I think I know more than they do standing out in the fog). We stopped zig zagging so much, so I think now they figured it out.

That's about it for now except they promised tomorrow they would teach us "under water basket weaving" and "how to build kites out of old sea boots". This has been a swell adventure, but I can hardly wait to get home and have some hot dogs.

Bye for now,

Mark Rudiger  

PS: Can you send some more Hershey Bars and my fuzzy slippers?

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Leg 5 positions at 1200 GMT today:
      BoatPoints*Position
Overall
  1. EF Language (P. Cayard, skipper)
  2. Merit Cup
  3. Innovation Kvaerner
  4. Toshiba
  5. Swedish Match
  6. BrunelSunergy
  7. Chessie Racing
  8. Silk Cut
  9. EF Education
507
452
412
391
390
161
346
297
126
1
2
3
5
4
8
6
7
9
* Aggregate points total, including points scored for the first, second, third and fourth legs and points for the fifth leg according to current positions.


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