March 29 ,Chasing the Dragon

We continue on starboard tack  parallel with Japan in the north going current.
Y2 and full main but gets a bit spicy and we reef. We continue to get lifted around ,all night.  Qingdao appears on the AIS,by watch end we are only 2.2 miles behind Qingdao and putting time into Halong Bay.

We Spend all next morning chasing Qingdao and finally get past  as the wind becomes fickle by lunchtime. Of course qingdao have been our friends and nemesis in this race since we left london. So having this time where we are simply sailing faster is encouraging to the crew.



Unfortunately later on watch the Yankee 1 tears on a  spreader ,The yankee 2 already needs repairing ,The yankee 3 goes up ,Qingdao go by.
such is yacht racing. Later in this race Qingdao had the deck start to delaminate under the running backstay and put into Japan for repairs. As I  write in my covid isolation the fleet having already left Seattle,Qingdao are still out there but heading for San Francisco. 
A frustrating night of light winds followed and a  and dark night with difficult steering.
at my turn on the helm we are completely engulfed by a black cloud that results in a 100 degree windshift. somehow I follow it and we tack over onto a favorable course
The nights during this race become a familiar pattern ,full cloud no stars and the moon only occasionally. And often for us on this leg No Instruments !

Am then on mother watch.The bought bread has run out so we do the first lot of bread baking.

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