After a month in Phillipines, 1 weeks iso , 1 week boat prep , training 1 week departure for training overheated motor, with several nights anchored in Nagassa bay with at least one opportunity for a swim .
Finally we go out at 1200 with the usual fanfare parade of sail clipper style ,but no blaring of team songs . Hoist sails and do a tethered MoB and a long chat by the skipper then a further MoB drill . Finally we start sailing but we are not yet racing .We slip into the watch system at 1800. We’re expecting a drift in the heat but instead are treated to an evening shift with squalls lightning ,reefs in reefs out toe rail in the water, all in all, a decent introduction for the 5 to 6 of us on deck .
The winds eventually lighten on the following watch . We come on watch at 0200 again and the wind gradually goes behind . We plug in the kite only to find the starboard kite halyard can’t be brought forward . In the dawn we find the bungy meant to hold the upgoing halyard is around the down going section ,we send Cam up the mast to fix it. Anyway the kite is ready for the next watch .
I try to sleep in our off watch from 0600 but heat and humidity make this a difficult task .
Continue to sail up to the race start in the Luzon Strait ,continuing light breezes never more then 7 knots .
Our watch is converted into an entertaining one one after the wind dropped . We brought up on deck what we believed to be the windseeker but realise after we have the sail up it is the code 1 spinnaker . Anyway we discover we can fly it at least as close as 60 dehrees apparent in light winds . We drop it and get the windseeker and hoist it . The breeze soon fills in a bit and we are above the max apparent wind for the sail . We hoist the yankee and drop the windseeker .I guess I get the blame for the initial error.
It is all good practice but having to re wrap the code 1 downstairs is not.
<span;>The conditions are pleasant but downstairs is still hot and very humid.
On evening watch a final evolution was to drop the yankee 1 as the wind got up . Dropping these headsails on the narrow bow has to be one of the more difficult tasks on the boat they are just beasts of sails though once the first few feet are down it becomes easier then hanking the new sail on, the hanks never seem to be the rightway round and you’re moving heavy sail material and metal hanks up to the forestay
We hoist the yankee 2 and soon cruise downwind to give the crew and especially the skipper and aqp some rest before Thursday race start
Finally racing again not a great start but seemed to make ground after start . Y3 2 reefs rough and steep .low side to move yankee car still hot below decks wet above can’t wait to helm .
Overnight 20 knots plus breeze and steep seas but the boat is a delight to helm
on our Dawn watch we lose our wind instruments so it is back to basics ,,
we continue to make up ground
after tacking just behind Halong Bay our tricing line undoes and wraps the lazy yankee sheet
we have to bear away for a good 10 minutes while the mess is sorted out losing much of our gains .