‘ello folks,

I came up on deck to the boat moving along nicely at 8-10 knots and there were these strange lumps in the sea - I was informed by Hugo that these lumps of water go by the name of 'swell' and are caused by wind, something we've not been accustomed to of late.

Oh, and the moon came out too to say hello last night. It was just a slither though and reminded me of the Cheshire Cat out of Alice in Wonderland.

In all seriousness, it was lovely to be sailing with the sun setting and the boat rising and dropping with the swell, whilst travelling at good speed at a slight lean (close reach).

The crew has been briefed, the mothers are readying their galley for the onslaught the weather is about to bestow them and spider webs have been strung across down below to catch unsuspecting crew.

It's now the following morning and all is well - the crew has done very well through the night and have made up the six or so mile deficit - thank you to Crimewatch for getting out of your bunks 40 minutes early to help tackle getting the Yankee 1 away.

The mothers cooked a good 'Filipino/Thai curry' and it was all washed down with some 'warm iced tea', which reminds me, I saw our new toilet cleaner yesterday and can you guess what scent we have gone for... White Meadow? Fresh Linen or Lemon scent? Nope... they chose 'Marine Explosion'! Luckily, it's less Deep Water Horizon and more hospital scented - the mind boggles what those marketing gurus think up.

As said earlier in the blog, we managed to catch up with the lead pack. We could see the other three as the sun rose. We were a football field away from Punta del Este (think more Anfield than 5 aside), while Unicef and Qingdao were silhouettes in the distance. It’s going to be good viewing for you sofa sailors back home to see how much we pinch and how far we shall go before we all decide to tack?

I need to apologise to a lovely lady whose name escapes me - she gave me 'Manuela' - a flamingo pencil to keep our nav station 'Manny' company. Unfortunately, it was given to me on the evening of Prizegiving and Manuela (not the lovely lady) is now MIA somewhere in Subic Bay. But fear not folks, I asked my crew for a lucky Chinese cat (Tamsin Sealy), the one with the waving paw but instead I got... a 'rotund buddha' for the nav station which we have called Sid. As I type, he is busy waving his fan and meant to be nodding his head but with the current sea state he's definitely more head banging to System of a Down than nodding.

A note from the TC - for the avoidance of an inundation of waving lucky cats I have been reassured one is already on the way.

Josh, Hugo and the crew of Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam

Song of the day - Status Quo - 45 Hundred Times