Australia – Singapore

Arrival into Singapore April 9 2014

On my last night watch as we approached Singapore crossing the busy Singapore Straits, I was struck as I came on deck by the overpowering stench and the huge number of lights. We had crossed the Straits by this time and were following Switzerland in to the marina. We still had to dodge many huge ...

Borneo, then Motorsailing to Singapore April 8 2014

Before the sun set I tried but failed to capture in a photo the vibrant greens of the jungle that surrounded the cove where we spent the night drifting before it was our turn to refuel. I also could not capture the sound of the birdsong at dusk. We were not allowed to go ashore in ...

Borneo – what are we doing going to Borneo? April 7 2014 GB, sailing into the sunset

Written 12 February 2014, at sea The first part of race 8, Race 8A, seemed interminable. With unseasonal weather, we had spent a large part of the Race sailing upwind, as the wind was coming from where we needed to go, instead of neatly sailing downwind using the northwest easterly trade winds that didn’t come. Either ...

One month at sea April 6 2014 A coffee grinder

Written 12 February 2014, at sea Today I have been at sea for one calendar month. We left Brisbane way back on 12 January. It’s the longest I’ve ever been at sea, my previous being only two or three days. But also it’s the longest that any of the round-the-world crew members have been at sea, ...

The End of Race 8A April 5 2014 Trimming a spinnaker

Written 11 February 2014, at sea The day after the pirate escapade, we were still determined to race. The finish line of Race 8A was now finally within our sights and we had decent wind that, for once, was not coming from where we needed to go. In the morning the distant sail of GB was ...

Wake-up! April 4 2014 One of the wake-up locations

Written 9 February 2014, at sea Being woken up is a fact of life when working in a watch system. So no-one minds. It is also the responsibility of the watch on duty to wake all the members of the oncoming watch, their reliefs. The best way is to say their name. If no response, shake ...

A Pirate Escapade April 3 2014 A Philippine fishing vessel

Written 7 February 2014, at sea Andy – this explains why we were going the wrong way. “All hands on deck, wearing pirate shirts.” I was just on the way to fetch mine, as I was due to come on watch for an evening watch. The pirate shirt is our long-sleeved dark blue Ocean Crusaders shirt that each ...

One line too many April 2 2014 The line we caught

Written 3 February 2014, at sea I was at the helm. It was one of my first attempts at helming with a spinnaker up and I was starting to get the hang of it. When at the helm, you’re supposed to concentrate on that to the exclusion of all else. But it was hard to concentrate ...

What are we up to today? April 1 2014 The communal bucket

Written 1 February 2014, at sea Today it is the hottest it’s been yet.  Usually being on deck is fairly pleasant, even though below decks can be known as a sweatbox. Today is different though. This morning’s watch had us breaking in to a sweat just sitting down. Bits of the deck were too hot to ...

A birthday on board March 31 2014

Written 29 January 2014, at sea “It’s Dave’s 50th while you’re at sea. You will remember won’t you?”, said his wife Debs at the race start in London all those months ago when I first met her. Well I did remember, but not well enough to do anything in advance like get him a card, or ...

What a way to cross the equator! March 30 2014 My new perch

Written 26 January 2014, at sea 6 pm – watch changeover. “Eric’s asked for as many hands on deck as soon as possible.” Guess that answers that question then. The teeth cleaning will have to wait. On deck the wind has increased and we are sailing with two reefs in the mainsail. The other watch is battling to ...

What am I talking about March 29 2014 Top of a spinnaker

Written 25 January 2014, at sea Hopefully you’ve guessed by now that I am on a sailing yacht! I cannot sleep and have just been re-reading some of these posts, and it strikes me that you won’t have a clue what I am talking about, unless you are lucky enough to have some sailing experience.  So ...

Nicholas! March 28 2014 Am I wearing any?

Written 22 January, at sea Before we left, during the deep clean, I was away from the boat and there was a rain shower. Warm rain. By the time I had got back to the boat this had turned into a complete deluge and I was totally soaked. I took off my top and hung it ...

More showers March 26 2014 A distant squall

Written 20 January 2014, at sea 8am. Watch changeover as I wrote in the log. Clean clothes too ie clean bra top and shorts that had at least been washed. Still stained with sunscreen and the special red Henri Lloyd mould we seem to have, but ‘clean’. The watch started uneventfully with sitting on the rail while ...

An eventful watch? March 25 2014

Written 20 January 2014, at sea Well, it must have been eventful. I was fast asleep. We had finished our watch at 8pm sailing close-hauled under our biggest Yankee sail, the staysail and mainsail and a good wind. After four hour’s sleep we arrived on deck again ready for our next stint. I was given a halyard (a ...

Squall or a free shower? March 24 2014 Nico, "showering" in one of the heads

Written 19 January 2014, at sea The other thing about Mother watch is that, on Henri Lloyd at least, that is the day when you are allowed to take a shower.  With a full crew of 20, that would be one shower every 10 days. We are short-handed on this leg so it is one every ...

‘Good’ Mother? Me? March 23 2014

Written 17 January 2014, at sea That’s what I was, apparently. It has nothing to with being a good mother, or otherwise. Mother watch is Clipper’s term for the 24-hour period where you are responsible for feeding the entire crew – their breakfast, lunch, dinner, bread and snacks. You also get a full night’s sleep barring ...

At last! March 22 2014

Written 15 January 2014, at sea The day of the Race Start arrived.  There was no trouble reporting to the boat at 7am. I had been sleeping on it, though most crew had found alternative accommodation for the couple of nights they were not at at sea. We slipped moorings for a parade of sail down the ...

Before the Race to Singapore March 21 2014 Henri Lloyd arriving in Brisbane

Written 11 January 2014 Crew changeover – this is the day when I legally became a crew member of Henri Lloyd. I had been wondering how to get all my kit down to the Rivergate Marina as it was rather a long way from the centre of Brisbane. Dave sorted that – he had hired ...

Anita’s Race 8 February 24 2014 The Old Pulteney Navigator Cup Winners in Singapore

I managed to talk to Anita while she was in Singapore at the end of Race 8. Would you believe that she wrote 24 posts during the race? The problem is that she didn’t actually have time to finish them properly before she needed to start Race 9. She was too busy sorting the boat ready ...