Hello and thank you for joining Qingdao, as we surf along at speeds of up to 16.5 knots chasing down Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, Dare to Lead and Visit Sanya, China. The winds have been holding fairly consistent as we race down the coast of Morocco, so the focus has mainly been on helming with most of the crew taking a turn at the wheel under the tutelage of Chris and Rhiannon. Chris has also been working hard on the weather routing and our race strategy - place your bets now on how we’ll be navigating our way past the Canary Islands over the coming days.
As a crew, we are settling into the watch pattern and the days are beginning to merge. One way to differentiate between the days is by the wildlife we encounter; as yesterday’s small brown songbird has been replaced today by a small brown pigeon. Whilst we are doing our best to cater for our latest houseguest with a bowl of freshwater and some seeds, we have asked them not to recommend us to their friends – we’re not sure we could cope if anything bigger came to visit!
Wildlife sightings of a more aquatic nature include a breaching whale (small, so perhaps a false killer whale?) and a pod of dolphins that raced along with us last night, at approximately 13 knots. Last night also brought a taste of what we may face in the Asian seas, as we had to navigate through a fleet of fishing vessels.
In other crew news:
Alfred Suen, “Mother”, is particularly keen to head south and hit the easterly trades, complaining as he served breakfast that “the butter hasn’t melted yet”.
Keith Baker, general dogsbody, is more focussed on the state of the lazarette, holding a pop quiz at the midday “happy hour” team meeting with questions on the proper storage of garbage. Keith also wanted to tell his followers at home that following the debacle with the scones, he has now found the tin foil, HP Sauce and Ketchup all by himself. No wonder the scones were a debacle if he’s been eating them with those toppings. Check scone reference!
Chris Brooks, a professional sailor from Essex, appears to have been considering a change of career to teaching, as he continues his daily practice of trying to educate the crew on racing strategy with the whiteboard.
Michelle Weissenbourn, general coordinator, has confirmed that she is not considering a change of career, after a long day in the galley however, I can happily say that the crew thoroughly enjoyed her and Jody Shaw’s cooking, particularly the flapjacks made from leftover porridge and our dinner of Moroccan-style lamb stew with couscous.
And on that bombshell, it’s time to go, goodnight!