Gliding along in the Yellow Sea
A complete turnabout. After yesterday's storm, the night was dedicated to traversing a ridge of high pressure as best we could. It wasn't until the early hours, downwind of a little South Korean island, that the ridge deigned to push us towards the goal as it should. The large gennaker in position, this kind SSW‘ly breeze is enabling us to glide across the Yellow Sea, which is as smooth as a millpond. A real joy.
This Sunday was therefore dedicated to drying out as the sun and blue skies were part of the proceedings, as well as some much needed recuperation; everyone's sleep ration being largely in the red. The wake-up calls were difficult as a result because, for the first time since the start, we were in a 'real deep sleep', and no longer between 'two worlds', as you don't have the worry of getting ejected from your bunks anymore.
This sail in the Yellow Sea is a big first for the eight of us and we've observed that it requires as much, if not more attention, than navigating along the Breton coast. We have spent our day passing fishing boats displaying Chinese flags, where you could clearly hear the sound of a diesel engine of a certain age whose age is far from certain! It was also necessary to slalom between the lines of fishing nets measuring several hundred metres in length, barely visible on the surface of the water, and marked out in what appeared to us to be a rather random manner. The result of that is that we passed over one of them, as easy as pie, which was fortunate for both ourselves and the net.
Whilst Qingdao, our next stopover after Dalian, is 140 miles abeam of us, we look set to reach the 4th largest city in China in the early hours of Monday morning. The objective we'd set ourselves for this Yokohama/Dalian record, namely to pass under the four day barrier, is therefore on the point of being reached. As usual Gitana 13 is preparing to reach the finish without the slightest damage, just like the crew itself it has to be said!
See you soon,