Feb 2014

A few days ago we caught up with Leg 5 crew member Shona Lee, a massage therapist from Sydney, to find out about her experience to date on board PSP Logistics.

In Race 8 you became a Shellback when you crossed the Equator. Tell us about this experience.

Singapore for me was a lot of trouble shooting, problem solving and logistics as I had taken on the mammoth undertaking of victualling for this next race along with Michael Valli. It was the first time for both of us so there was a lot of learning to be done, made more difficult than it needed to be as time was taken up trying to access the internet or getting a phone to call suppliers with! I feel like our boat is being fed by some lucky chance encounters and kindness of victuallers from other boats. Hence, I haven't really had any rest time to process experiences from the past race such as the Shellback initiation. We did ours a couple of days after the Equator crossing to wait until the boat had levelled out a bit. It was interesting to be involved in a tradition that continues to carry on but not knowing that much about its history, I didn't have too many expectations going into it.

Prior to joining the race, you thought the hardest personal challenge would be the physical and mental stamina/endurance required on board. Having completed one of your two races in Leg 5, tell us how you have tackled this challenge and is the reality as hard as you thought it would be?

Yes it does take a lot of stamina. Psychologically I found it key to recognise something new you had got out of each day, be it something as simple as a funny conversation/interaction or someone showing you something. Whilst adjusting with seasickness at the start, I would have one simple task/aim for each time going off watch down below before getting horizontal in my bunk. Time markers such as week in/week to go or half way through play a big part mentally too. Also a lot of self-maintenance, listening to what your body needs such as sleep to look after it, which is why this email can't be too wordy now as I need to rest!