by Eric Holden
2013 - 14 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - The Henri Lloyd skipper Eric Holden reports..
Henri Lloyd - 2013 - 14 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
'Becalmed again, yet with a residual rough sea state the whole boat is being constantly shaken. On the plus side, the sun is out and we're able to dry out on deck after a wet day yesterday. Feeling the warmth of the sun on one's face is wonderfully rejuvenating, almost as much as sleep.
It's hard to tell how long this calm will last. It does look like it could be slow going for quite some time if we're not able to make progress to get out of this area ourselves. What breeze we have is very gusty. We get an occasional strong gust that heels us over and gets us going for a while before a big wave comes and shakes all the wind out of our sails.
Now's the time to give the boat a good check over after one good blow and before the next. The boat handled the rough conditions well, and apart from a snapped Yankee sheet, there does not appear to be much damage. The reward has been that last night we passed through the island chain south of Tokyo, and now it feels like we are pushing out into the Pacific properly, and thus starting the real ocean phase of this race. The last of land has been sighted for the next 4500 miles.
We have seen a few sea birds out, mostly of the seagull variety. With a lack of fishing fleets seen recently, it is hoped that the sea life will increase once again, unless the lack of fishery is due to a decimated fish stock. It will be interesting to observe the state of the Pacific during this crossing, if there will be any evidence along our route of the ‘plastic continent’ or tsunami debris.