After a stopover in Japan for almost a month, to within one night, we're going to ‘miss' our first earthquake! Lionel, Zolive and the two ‘newcomers' aboard, namely Jean-Baptiste Levaillant and Antoine Mermod, wondered which position it was best to adopt whilst their bed, situated on the thirteenth floor of our hotel, began to shake at around two in the morning. Level 3 on the Richter Scale according to a sober announcement on the CNN news. As regards the rest of the crew, including your humble servant, the sandman had us in his grip… to their deep regret!
It is with the taste of this anecdote in our mouths, which simply left a smile on the faces of the Japanese who came to see us off, we cast off under a half-fig, half-grape coloured sky. The introduction involved a string of manœuvres in order to extract ourselves from Tokyo Bay. A fine 'lull' invited itself to the start line, but fortunately business soon got back to normal. And so with night already upon us here, we're making between 22 and 25 knots under solent and full mainsail. Japanese soil, just a handful of miles off, is providing us with a perfectly sheltered race zone.
Tonight and over the coming days, we'll be revising the navigation rules and the different light configurations. The shipping promises to be intense, and indeed it has already been so since our departure. There are just eight of us aboard, that is two watches of three hours. Suffice to say that between here and Dalian, we're going to have very little time to get bored.