“All change, all change! This big red boat is now headed for Hong Kong! Change here for a new forestay fitting and the start of Race 9.”
Round the world crew members, the bosun, Gordon McDougall, ropework guru Roser Preuss and myself have been up on the bow inspecting our bottlescrew fitting and generally getting a good dousing in the warm South China Sea waves.
We have fashioned several lashings to the forestay and rig, to support the mast, just in case it was to fail. Our forestay fittings look ok at the moment but these cracks may be hard to see and we are not going to take any chances. There are a total of four lashings to support the forestay termed the 'just in case' lashing and the 'just to be extra safe' lashing and then we have backup lashings for the just in case and the extra safe lashings! Safe as houses!
The crew have been surprisingly not that disappointed in the change of plans, pace and destination. In fact they have lapsed back into motoring/cruise phase mode like ducks to water! I think getting into the racing mindset was somewhat challenging after the run down at the end of Race 8. Some are particularly excited at the prospects of going to Hong Kong, another great natural harbour city destination. Let’s hope there is a chance to look around.
These cruise or motoring phases do have their perks, the communal meals are back, as are the lunchtime Captains corners and evening happy hours. The crew are busy sprucing up the deck, cleaning the down below and the “nice to haves” jobs list is out.
I am going to have to think of something clever to get them revved up for the restart of Race 9 from Hong Kong, we know we have it in us. We managed to get ‘Heidi’ (the nickname for our boat) on the pace but unfortunately not as early in the race as some of the other boats. The tough beat up to Qindgao still looms but it seems a more manageable undertaking now and that will use to our advantage.
'Til tomorrow folks,
With love from the crew on Switzerland, motoring in the South China Sea, again!