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

San Francisco – Panama


I wrote the following as a crew diary for Clipper, on the 4th May 2014. I have really enjoyed seeing the varied forms of wildlife on this leg. From sea turtles floating along to seals appearing to play as they pass, flying fish and the odd sea snake. What seals were doing way out here I…

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Motoring to Panama

Since the race finished, we have been motoring in the predicted light winds. GB went their own way and we started in company with Jamaica and Garmin. The first evening saw the crews of all three swimming together before dinner. It was good to catch up with Jan on Garmin and then to use the…

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A bizarre race finish

As you know, this race started with us passing under Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Where it would end, we didn’t know. With light winds forecast on the southern part of the race course to Panama, and a finite time window to channel all 12 boats through the Panama canal, Clipper gave us five…

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A special day

I seem to be making a habit of sailing on my birthday. The very first time I went offshore sailing was over the weekend of my seventeenth birthday, and there have been a few at sea since. Yesterday was no exception. Here are a few highlights. 0000 Chris wishes me happy birthday as we come…

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Hotter by the day

I remember on the journey from Brisbane to Singapore that it got suddenly hot. The first few days were a bearable temperature then bang, we were straight into minimal clothes by day and by night. I suppose leaving Brisbane in the middle of January during their summer was significantly warmer than leaving San Francisco in…

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The long grey watch

Last night’s first watch, 8pm to midnight, was a bit longer than expected. The watch started innocuously enough, with some stars, minimal cloud cover but no moon. It soon clouded over though. It meant that everything was a shade of grey. We were trying to trim the spinnaker by distinguishing its light grey colour from…

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