Close Encounters

24/2/2000

Still have the 0800 to 1200 watch which ends up as the sunset watch , and 2000 to 2400 which ends up the dawn watch.Our sunset watch sees some nice upwind sailing in 10 to 13 knots with the boat doing 8 to 9 knotsn though we stay on port tack and bear away a little to maintain speed.Seattle and WTC are visible to port and are both would clearly be in front we tacked.Seattle seem to sail lower and end up tacking away after they come within half a mile of our beam. WTC get knocked badly falling well behind and eventually tack away The breeze gradually drops away to 8 to 10 knots after sunset. I have a bit of nerve racking time when on port tack we cross in front of the red lights of Halong Bay and Zhuhai ,us having made up considerable ground .Halong Bay radio us before we cross
I think to put some doubt in our mind as to whether we were clear ahead.

An hour later from my bunk I hear some yelling. Both us and Halong Bay have tacked back with us having right of way on starboard. There is a near collision as we come up on the breeze and they tack away.They radio us apparently to ask whether they should perform a penalty turn. We decline.One could argue they should have done it anyway.
Our sunrise watch was a very light wind affair trying somehow to fill the kite and the swell collapsing it.A following current ensures a pace close to 2 knots .Finally at the watch end we get some breeze and are making 5 knots. The sched show 4 boats inshore and ahead and us in a group of 4 boats. It is anyones race.

25/2/2020
So the yachts inshore despite having to come out 30 miles to get to the mark at the top of Luzon find a breeze that pulls them out of there .The breeze gradually freshens during the afternoon and we are hard on the breeze getting to the mark and maintain our 5th place ahead of Zhugai and Seattle.Into the night the breeze freshens further and goes more east. The evening watches swap the yankee 3 in for the yankee 1 and end up with 2 reefs in the main
Our sunset watch the yacht already feels under powered when I take the helm with the wind dropping to 18 then 16 , in the s
end we shake out both reefs.The yacht is moving along nicely and we manage to point high enough to increase our windward distance from Zhuhai and Seattle. This will become important when we tack Ĺ•east up near Taiwan.
Life downstairs has become a challenge again with the constant heel on starboard tack.

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