Header image: Henri Lloyd in St Katharine Docks before the race start

And so to Panama

Leg 7 has already started. It started on Saturday, and it just barely entered my consciousness that yesterday was Easter Sunday so I guess today must be Monday.

Hopefully this will be published in real time, as soon as I have sent the email once I have found the address. It means that you will get updates as they happen rather than months afterwards, and that I don’t need to spend precious port time finishing off the posts and publishing them. It also means that any posts I send in this method will be text-only. I have purchased a satellite email system to allow this – alright, and to communicate with Peter. As well as the monthly charge, there is a minimum charge per email and then an additional charge per byte. So an email containing an image would be prohibitively expensive.

Prior to the start of the race – a real race start not a Le Mans start this time – there was a parade of sail which involved all 12 Clipper yachts with all banners and flags up following a fireboat round the bay. The fireboat had all its water sprays going and led us from our moorings at South Beach Yacht Club past the Golden Gate Yacht Club and Alcatraz island then round a OneDLL spectator boat and one from South Beach Yacht Club.

The race start had us tacking round and crossing a start line near the Golden Gate Yacht Club and out through the central span of the Golden Gate Bridge. Then we sailed past Baker’s Beach and Lands’ End – not the one in Cornwall. And then out to sea.

Yellowbrick has the positions a bit muddled up. It is reporting those boats that have gone out further to the west as behind those that have stayed to the east, regardless of how far south they are.

So for the last couple of days we have been sailing downwind with one of our three spinnakers – whichever one suits the current wind conditions the best. It is very pleasant sailing. It’s still cold but getting warmer, needing to put on progressively fewer layers at the start of each watch. We are sailing downwind so there is not the awful banging that I described in my post about the race to Qingdao. I have been a little seasick yesterday but not enough to interfere with my duties.

I woke up in the middle of my off-watch too hot so got up to write this. Now I am too cold so am going back to bed again to warm up.

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