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Meet Ben - Blog post by Steve

Meet another of the crew, this time its Ben Mann from Brisbane. Ben is the youngest member of our crew at 35. He has a long-time partner Angie and is a proud dad to 3-year-old Isla. (Yes - she is called Isla Mann and Ben's not even into motorbikes!)

Ben is into his adventure sports and crews for ocean going race yachts in the Sydney to Hobart races - these are pretty high-octane events where every effort is made to shave seconds off here and there, to gain a competitive advantage.

His love of climbing led him to his current profession as a high ropes access specialist - now I thought tower block window cleaner when I first heard this, but it's a far more diverse job than that. On any given week he could be examining power station cooling towers for concrete degradation, mounting an aircraft suspended on wire in a museum or assisting in a rescue scenario.

I row with Ben for 6 of the 12 hours each day so that's the oldest paired with the youngest and we chat about a variety of subjects - he is very family orientated and always asks after family when we contact home.

It will be nice to get some progress towards Mauritius - so we are hoping for a change in the wind direction tonight or tomorrow. At this stage we just hope to achieve the goal and recognise that any potential record bid is purely down to the weather Gods.

This afternoon, Al and I went over the side attached to a rope to scrape the barnacles off (the boat, not each other) - this task is done every two weeks and gets some improved speed gains - we both had a great swim and for me the first time in six weeks to get off the boat. Quite strange to think there is well over 5,000 metres of water between us and the seabed.

That's all for now...

Steve (with the occasional editorial comment from Peter)

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