32. Sea Interludes

This post is a gallimaufry. No, nothing to do with Doctor Who’s home planet but a confused jumble of stuff. There, you can impress people with a new word today!

I’ve not managed to update the blog for a while, partly due to waiting for news to come in from the Clipper office and partly due to having a house full of different people at different times, including the three F’s who appear at the top of Post 2 way back in November last year. You can see them on the header here, if you go onto the website (not on the email). They have grown quite a bit in the interim!

So what’s been happening? Referring back to Post 30, we went and had our jabs, thankfully not as drastic as we thought. The very informative nurse we saw talked common sense into us: as we weren’t likely to be doing anything foolish (!) we could avoid having rabies, yellow fever etc etc. We came out having had just the normal boosters. The one proviso was if we were going to Brazil we would need yellow fever.

My new passport!

We found out last week that the first stop, on the way to Punta del Este in Uruguay, will be Portimao in Portugal. A nice short introduction to the race for MBB across the Bay of Biscay! It has affected the timings a little but as I’ve not got around to booking any flights or hotels that’s fine. The fleet arrival window here is 8 to 10 September, leaving for Uruguay on 15 September and they are now due into Punta del Este between 12 to 16 October. All other timings are (as yet) unchanged. I’ll do a review when we have more dates (we are expecting more announcements later this week).

The Level 4 week training started recently, where the actual 70 footers race against each other, in a small version of what they will be doing in September. George has yet to do his (due to the holiday in Japan and Vietnam) but John had his in early June, on the second week of Level 4. He clocked up 626 hours, with 46 hours night sailing. His attempt to grow a beard this week was not too successful, but maybe a year at sea will help.

A grizzled sea dog!

The results are very unofficial and do not get published, BUT we know that Qingdao beat Unicef in the first week. I was using VesselFinder to track them which means little else gets done. It’s great fun to see them racing when they are all in a line. You can track any boat, not just the Clippers, here’s the link: https://www.vesselfinder.com/

VesselFinder screen

Soon after that we had the Isle of Wight Round-The-Island race. Maybe not quite as tough as round the world. The Clipper yachts had been chartered out, they were in their own class, only three finished (due to lack of wind) but we had Unicef (CV31) first and Qingdao (CV30) second! Even though our teams were not crewing, the Skippers and AQPs were on board so it’s a real coup for the two boats we’ll be supporting. Once again we were all tracking them. Other systems are available and all are pretty similar, but here CV31 (Unicef) is the orange track, I think I need this system instead of the one above, much prettier! Once we start to race the official Clipper one will be the one to watch though, no other vessels interfering with the view.

Round The Island Race 2019

Also in the last few weeks John has officially left Alliance altogether, resigning from his post of Non-Executive Director. He had (yet another) farewell party and a few sailing-related presents.

Says it all!

Back to Clipper. Another two sponsors have been announced, WTC Logistics and ChartCo. World Trade Connections (WTC) Logistics are also a team partner, sponsoring a boat (Team Mark, CV23) as well as providing the shipping for all the equipment that needs to be taken to each port for the fleet. Important things like the pennants they win for coming first, second and third for example. As soon as I have a picture of their wrap I’ll post it. ChartCo is an official supplier, so they don’t have a boat. They are supplying the charts, piloting books and any other technical navigation documents needed.

Seattle (CV22, Team Ben) has been wrapped and she is quite different from the last race. She has an “ocean health” theme with Orca whales leaping around. You can see her being wrapped here: https://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/news/article/seattle-ocean-health-themed-branding-revealed

Finally, you’re not getting away without me mentioning the HATS! Having knitted lots for Unicef I felt I’d best pay some attention to Qingdao supporters. All the boats have a target of £33,000 to raise for Unicef (the official Clipper charity). John’s team are doing very well and are likely to reach that before they sail. Qingdao are a bit slower off the blocks, languishing in last place.

Qingdao colours

George donated £10 for the hat then took it to his team building event last weekend where it attracted much admiration. The upshot was it became an auction item and raised a further £60! Following on from that, there’s a raffle for a second one and other supporters are knitting. When we get to any port we’ll recognise each other (assuming the crew let us supporters wear them as well). Back to my needles…

Meanwhile, in 54 days and 5 hours they will be off!

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