Hamish Hooper blogs from onboard CAMPER….
Well I guess it’s plain to see that our shoreline gamble didn’t pay. Not that it’s any consolation, but the conditions have been just as we predicted, what wasn’t predicted was the good relatively steady and constant breeze the 3 leading boats got.
It’s a hard pill to swallow but the good thing is everybody onboard seems to have taken their medicine well and are just getting back on with the job on hand.
There is still a long way to go, so no need to get negative on things yet. Still over a thousand miles, and we will be using every single one of them to fight to get back to the front of the fleet.
We had another relatively exciting night last night as we were crawling along at turtles pace. We ended up pretty much right in the middle of a massive ship parking lot off Kuala Lumpur – and it seemed to be rush hour.
At one stage when Nico was trying to work out what direction one approaching ship was doing, he asked what colour the navigation light that could be seen was. Chuny took a glance behind the sail and said, “Both, red and green- this is not good.”
We had to alter course quite a lot, came down so we past port to port safely then just as we had done that another horn blared at us from the other direction several miles off.
There was no real danger at all, but it felt a wee bit like we were on the inside of a giant steel pinball machine for a while, only we were the pinball and a carbon fibre one at that!
By the time we actually past the initial ship it was stopped and anchored and had decided to take a better look at us so all of a sudden we were lit up by their massive flood lights, turning us into an impromptu billboard in the darkness. We felt a bit like a prisoner getting spotted escaping from jail.
As we passed below them they yelled down at us if we would like some cold beer… ummm- what do you think??
Andy McLean has been saying repeatedly for days now that he can’t wait to get to China. I keep on asking him what it is exactly he is looking forward to the most, the tropical beaches of Sanya, the interesting people, the culture, or the #46 chicken fried rice- he can never decide but can’t wait to use the chopsticks.
This morning we are once again have our own race within a race with Abu Dhabi who are just a couple of hundred metres off our stern.
Will Oxley has been busy as always- he just came below and told me we sailed right by an island, which is not on the charts.
Speaking of charts I noticed yesterday there was an area on the chart right by where we were sailing which said in big red bold letters ‘Explosives’, I wonder if the Indonesians are fishing again?
We now have about 150 miles to go until we are in open water again. I think everyone is looking forward to that. The last big obstacle course to pass through before then is the shipping lanes of the Port of Singapore. That will be more like dodgems rather than pinball!
That is if we get there, the breeze has just died again. The anchor and our ‘Anchor Master’ Trae are on standby…
Here’s a fact for you:
The Port of Singapore is the worlds busiest port in terms of shipping tonnage- around 1.15 billion gross tonnes handled in a year.
Again that’s a figure too big to comprehend, but might give some idea of the amount of shipping we need to get through in the next day or so.
GOLDEN QUOTE: “Give me icebergs, two layers of thermals and the roaring 40’s any day. This is torturous.”