8th in the Vendée Globe on this Monday 21st December, Isabelle Joschke is savouring the pleasures of sunshine and restorative sleep having now left the Indian Ocean, which she says she will not miss.
"It's going pretty well at the moment, I'm in 'big rest' mode. For the past few days, I've had some great nights. It's sunny, the temperatures are nice, the early afternoon is very pleasant! I'm taking advantage of it, because at the end of the day, when it gets dark, it's freezing cold, and the work on the deck is hard in the cold. I am taking advantage of these calmer moments, the sea has been easier for several days, and I am able to recharge my batteries.
When I left the Indian, I felt some tension in my back whereas I have very little since the beginning of the race. The cause was a lot of tiredness after a lot of manoeuvring and a lack of sleep. I feel like I'm completely recovered, muscularly and physically, it's going really well. I eat a lot too, because I'm hungry, the cold makes me want to gobble up calories to keep warm. All of this means that I am slowly getting acclimatised after the hard times.
On the morale front, I'm doing well. I'm following my little train, I try to not slow down, there may be another race in the Atlantic, but I'm staying on the reserve in the South. At the slightest risk, there can be breakage, which is difficult to manage in these temperatures. The winds are unstable, which can give bad surprises like for Damien (Seguin). I've had some too. The trajectory I am following is good and it suits me.
We've all had a big scare... 20-knots of wind that rises to 40 knots, the boat is not ready... And that has consequences on a sail, a line, the strain on an outrigger... In these temperatures, it's a real test. The wind is easing, I'm clearly going around the high by the South, in not too strong downwind conditions. And, slowly, the wind is going to back. In the days to come, we will switch to a crosswind, and a little upwind, which is not usual in the South Seas.
The weather forecast for the next ten days is rather mild, it won't be easy tactically. It is not easy to choose the right course in the unstable wind conditions. It will be clement, and I realise that, I thought I would never get out of the Indian Ocean and now I think I have and quite honestly, I’m delighted.”