by Team Ellen
After waiting for Customs in Japanese waters, B&Q have now cleared customs off Ishigaki Island and are now on a westerly heading towards Taipei. Currently sailing at just over 8 knots, Ellen and the crew have approximately 140 miles to cover before reaching Taiwan today, current ETA 2345 GMT today.
B&Q AT ISHIKAGI ISLAND
18 Apr 2006 // 18:12
Ellen and the crew on B&Q have arrived at Ishigaki Island at 23:58:22 local time [15:58:22 GMT] and the Omega clock onboard will now stop on this leg until they restart again in the morning once they have cleared customs before sailing onto Taipei, Taiwan [the stopping time to clear customs will be deducted from the overall elapsed time at the end of this leg.]
Ellen called to say: 'We're now ghosting along at two knots have crossed our imaginary line off Ishigaki Island and now we have to wait until morning before we can clear customs and head off again. Oli [B&Q Project Manager] is already on the island and will come out with the customs boat to meet us in the morning and transfer the necessary paperwork. We're all okay and for the first time on this tour we are feeling hot instead of cold which is nice if not a bit hot and sweaty down below although its just started to rain so its cooler on deck. They are about 20 other vessels here waiting to clear customs so we are just hoping we don't have to wait too long but we will see.' It is mandatory for all shipping sailing between mainland China and Taiwan to clear customs in Japanese waters - Ishikagi Island in Japanese territory is the closest point 130 miles to the east of Taiwan.