The wind was up hard this morning. The lads had all inflated tons of tents before I even got on site, but we ended up having to deflate them all again. This wind is harsh and is forecast for the next few days. By the coast in Punta del Este we are building another great big race, but while we are in the build phase then there’s little point in exposing these inflatable tents to more wear and tear. They are incredible feats of engineering and make so much possible. Despite this, and even though we made a sand bag factory and significantly reduced the huge pile of sand we started with to make weights, it just made sense to take the issue away entirely by dropping loads of the tents until the wind drops.
Working all morning in the wind was obliquely fun just because the team is fun. I didn’t expect rolling up tents this early in procedures, and that’s the one that skins your hands. I haven’t got gloves again. Again my little aristocratic hands are atrocious. Again I know they will recover and look like they’ve never done a thing. But I’m gonna remember to buy work mittens next time I go to the hardware store. We hauled things and filled things and shouted and rolled.
Above us the eagles and falcons and vultures enjoyed the wind. Some are huge and remarkable protected birds, buffeted by the wind but using it to cover more ground. So many, and they come so close. There was even a safety talk about them today. I missed it though as I was lending an extra hand to haul tents. We need to take them into account as we are in their territory here right now. Similar to the cows in Sardinia, but smaller and sharper and above us. It isn’t breeding season. So it’s just about how they interact with the cars and the drones, and remembering that they are protected species – and beautiful with it.
I thought I had avoided jetlag. I landed and then stayed up, woke at six local time this morning and got onto site nice and early. Suddenly at lunchtime, I started to feel like I had been totally wrung out. My body was trying to reject the pineapple juice I had with my lunch. I have never experienced a shutdown quite like the one that I started to experience, but thankfully the site was being evacuated until the wind died down so I shoved a salami sandwich into an unwilling mouth and missioned it back to my hotel room as my body growled about the juice. 25 minutes back over the weird bridge and back to my odd hotel where they’ve fixed the shower so I got in it, washed off the dust and collapsed for two hours of deep deep sleep.
Evening took me back to walking and discovering Punta. A good walk and catch up with John, who with Kester made all this international joy possible. And then I sat at the rising tide with sunset and a bird.
Bed now. Hopefully that shutdown today was the end of it. I’ve got shit to do.