PSP Logistics said goodbye to Leg 5 crew member Susy Pietrzak in Qingdao but we managed to catch-up with her briefly en route to China:
You had one of the biggest groups of friends and family waving you off when you left Brisbane on Race 8. It must have been a big decision for you to sign up for the race, knowing you’d be away from them for so long. Tell us about the support you’ve had and how much it has meant during some of the tougher times on the race.
Wasn't it wonderful to have all those people waving me goodbye! I am so lucky to have such a big fan club! Until early January and actually seeing the Clipper 70 foot yacht PSP Logistics in the marina, I don't think it was quite real to anyone in my group that I had signed up for such a unique and serious ocean race. Giving my beautiful supporters in Brisbane the opportunity of going on board the PSP Logistics yacht and showing them below decks, intensified the reality of my Leg 5 adventure for them and for me.
My husband, George, has been my biggest supporter, not only enjoying the experience vicariously through me, but totally immersing himself in the Race Viewer and the Clipper Race website. He religiously follows every detail and is able to update me on the latest happenings rather than the other way around! He discovered Facebook and Twitter recently and makes full use of these mediums to update our children, parents, siblings, the wider family, the friends’ network and workmates. George is pretty special and lets me know via email when people have passed on messages of support and/or interest to me.
George, also known as ‘Porge’or Giorgio Armani of pirate legend as in ‘Arrghmani’ will be there to greet me in Qingdao, China. So we will both be able to enjoy the hospitality of the Chinese and the welcome into the port of Qingdao. Looking forward to it very much, even if the dates became a little stretched!
Heartfelt thanks to George, Tashi, Els and Ken, Frans and Annie, Yuri and Yuki for being there in Brisbane, surprising me at fellow crew member Michael Bishop's place, and cheering me on at the marina with a colourful, unexpected sail of their own; unfurled against the wall of the dock and urging me in Dutch to "Go with the Wind". I will admit this made me a little emotional. Such love, support, totally unexpected surprises and interest in my adventure and the bigger PSP Logistics adventure. Thank you to everyone who is taking an interest in what I am doing and I hope it inspires others to go out and test the limits as well.
You’ve got a new look since you left Brisbane! Tell us about the reasons for the change (in length and colour) and what’s the feedback from friends and family?
You have seen my new haircut? It is all a result of the wind, the wind, the wind! I lost my comb for quite a few days. It is so easy to have items mislaid on board, so I couldn't keep my hair combed and neat each day. There is a gremlin below decks who we blame for missing head torches, towels, pillows or combs as the case may be! I had long hair and mostly kept it up in a ponytail but it kept getting wet and tangled and in the end I couldn't even get the elastics out. By the time I had found my comb it was too late. I tried; Ursula advised me how to wash my hair on board, Nicky lent me some special hair oil and Sam tried to get the knots out of my hair for two hours. I had two huge knots in my hair. The hair wasn't just knotted though, it was matted! I gave up and asked Sam to chop it all off! I was left with a weird hairdo which I fixed in Singapore, much to the delight of my husband who always did reckon that long hair tickles. I had wanted to go blonde to cover the tiny bit of grey that does come through after a while but to my horror and amusement, the supermarkets in Singers’ don't stock blonde hair dye. So I had to opt for my current shade of auburn burgundy.
I have got photos of my two massive knots, one had a diameter of 10 centimetres, the second around 7 centimetres! I have kept them to show my family and friends once I am home in Canberra. Bit like saving a baby's first tooth! Most of the feedback from people is that they like it and that the new hair style makes me look younger. One good friend who is herself a natural redhead referred to us as the two ginger ninjas.
Susy Sailor Moon Pietrzak or Pietrzak Susy Pietrzak – PSP Logistics