Day seven of an eight-day race and still over 600nm to go. This brought quite a bit of laughter to our daily meeting today. However, slowly but surely, we are finally getting there and now we are even facing in the right direction (well, some of the time anyway as once again, the wind is of course coming from exactly where we want to go). So far, this race has been a mixture of endless windholes and/or beating upwind, both of which aren’t your favourite sailing conditions. As we rounded the first few marks around the Nansei Islands yesterday we had a brief stint with the wind behind us and the Code 2 Spinnaker up, which was a lovely reprieve from our usual life on an angle. But it wasn’t to last long and once again we called for a few extra pairs of hands on deck to help with the hoists of the white sails and drop of the Spinnaker. All went smoothly and the smaller team that we have this race has really come together and is working nicely as one.

We will soon be back in the familiar port of Subic Bay, which weirdly sort of feels a bit like we’re heading home. Everyone is already starting to talk about things we must do there, or more realistically, we’re putting together a list of bars and restaurants we intend to visit again. However, before all that we all know the dreaded wind lacking, West coast of the Philippines awaits ahead and I have no doubt is ready to put us through our paces once again, with surprise windholes and wind shifts resulting in multiple sail changes each watch. Unfortunately, this time we are unlikely to have our secret trap fixed by then (aka Code 1), which we learnt is key, as poor Dawn has had a nightmare trying to fix it in these conditions the past few days.

Everyone has settled into this race well, with almost no visits from the green monster and I would say the majority have enjoyed the slightly more exciting sailing conditions when compared to the last race. Hats off to the mummies who have prepared brilliant food all week in these sometimes challenging conditions. This has also been a very good practice run for when we repeat this in a week or two’s time before we head out into the Pacific Ocean. Note to those joining us for the next leg – make sure to bring with you a good, non-spill thermos… (Dave – FYI your google mug spills).

My morning with Seahawks has turned into a bit of a tackathon south, as we desperately tried to get the best angles out of the ever-changing wind direction. We have been in close company with Imagine your Korea on our port side and Visit Sanya, China ahead, which has certainly kept everyone focused and on their toes to try and push Sharon (some of us feel this name is very apt for Seattle...thoughts? Dave is yet to be convinced) as much as we can.

Last night we were surrounded by Japanese fishing boats and to make everything even more fun. the majority don’t have any AIS. Those that do, we have learnt (plus we’ve heard a few of the other boats fail too) that they won’t reply to a call on the VHF, so you just have to dodge them and then cross your fingers they’re not trailing a fishing net behind them. Whenever we pass one close by someone often calls brace! Ready for our entanglement in the fishing nets to begin. We don’t want a repeat of last year’s race when one of the boats started being reeled in by one of the trawlers! It really is quite shocking to see the vast amount of fishing is this part of the world, the poor fish don’t stand a chance out here.

Anyway, love to all back home. Dad, thinking of you this month and so sorry to be missing your big birthday coming up.

Finally, a message from Dave - Happy St David’s Day all.

Until next time,

Lyndsay & Dave