Race 9 Begins

We’re now nearing the end of the second day of race 9. And of course it’s been upwind, upwind, upwind, all the way – and we only expect more of it. THere was an overnight delay to rate start after we left SIngapore – we motored through the huge ship parking lot that is the Singapore Strait, but unfortunately Derry had gone back to pick up a battery charger, so as the fleet was not all present in time to start before sunset, we motored until the morning. We had a great Le Mans start – although we think we are not very good at going upwind, we just held steady and gradually moved to the front of the fleet – a nice place to be, even if its only temporary. Since then the weather beautifully sunny, and the trade winds are blowing obligingly, straight on our nose.
Last night we had a bit of ‘all hands on deck’ drama when a slow reef by port watch (i’m in starboard this time) let the sail flog too long, and a batten broke. We had to lower the sail right down to the deck. extract and replace the batten, then hoist again in careful stages. Luckily no permanent harm was done, but it definitely gave QIngDao, the nearest boat at the time, a chance to catch up.
Later we became embroiled in a fishing fleet – we spent so much time bearing away to dodge different vessels, who seemed to be moving in random directions and just ignoring us, that QingDao took the opportunity and went flying by in the darkness. THey were just about a mile upwind, and that made all the difference as they seemed to miss the fishing fleet altogether.
RIght now we are sailing in company with Derry and PSP – it’s good to have other boats in sight so we can try different things to make this tub(sorry, Henrietta!) go upwind efficiently, and judge by our progress against the others how well they work.
WIth the fairly mild weather, noone has really sufferedfrom seasickness this time, which is a blessing. We are settling back into our routine and enjoying the balmy weather – we know all to soon we will be freezing. From Team HL50YOPs, goodnight.

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