When I last reported (last night), we had 28 knots of true breeze and a Code 3 Spinnaker flying. Our best surf was 22 knots. That was fun while it lasted, but soon 28 knots became 37 knots and in accordance with the alleged Seamus Kellock sail selection process (see previous Visit Sanya, China blogs), after our second big broach of the night we decided to drag down the kite (it was a battle) and go to a full Main and Yankee 2. During the drop, with a fully dumped Mainsail and a fired tack, we were still doing a consistent 17 knots boat speed so perhaps we've found a new way to trim a Clipper 70 in breeze?!
This morning we smelt the breath of a whale off our starboard side just before dawn. We re-hoisted the Code 3 Spinnaker soon after and that must be good luck because it ushered a great day of 16 - 21 knots boat speed and it has us back up with the pack - although we are currently parked in our fourth wind hole of the afternoon / evening! We have sight of Seattle and recently passed them at 12 knots as they parked 4 nautical miles away at 1.2 knots. Now they are doing 6 knots and we are stopped. Breeze is supposed to fill soon and if it is as predicted, the first boats to get it will do well. Although there is a horrible looking windhole right before the finish just to muck things up.
After 5,000 nautical miles of sailing, this is certainly becoming a nail biter right to the end.
As for Visit Sanya, China and Qingdao, both in and, no doubt, showered and well 'watered' - what a great effort! Not bad for a round the cans boy Chris. I'll happily buy you a beer : )
All the best from,
Mark, Dan and the rest of WTC Logistics Leg 1 Crew