Below was my crew diary entry for the official clipper race site during Race 8:
What an eventful week it has been!
Apart from our reefing lines snapping and headsail in the water, I experienced my first “all-hands-on-deck” situation on Thursday.
It came as a shout from Rachel at half past nine in the morning and everyone from my (off) watch scrambled on deck.
With my well-known reputation of sleeping till the last minute, I was first on deck after a quick slip into my shorts and life jacket. Definitely a result of two years in the Singapore Army.
As the glaring sun heated my face, I saw on the starboard side the clew of our lightweight spinnaker dangling in the air, completely ripped off like a corner of a book.
An hour or so later and ‘new’ spinnaker up, we were off sailing again.
The past two days have also been more emotional for me as it is Chinese (Lunar) New Year (CNY), this is the first time in my life where I am not spending CNY at home. Missing the warm atmosphere (and comfy bed) back home where all of my relatives would gather at my place for a reunion dinner followed by a day of festivity cheer, games and more food the next day.
In a desperate attempt to curb my homesickness yesterday, I rummaged through my secret stash of sweets and attacked all the orange-flavoured ones to get a taste of CNY (it is tradition to exchange mandarin oranges as greetings to our elders).
Life on board has taken a lighter note as well, singing songs and making up lyrics. It gets amusing and painful at times when someone (you know who you are) always sings out of tune but sings loudly and confidently anyway.
Great news! We are now eleventh place in the latest race standings! Which is truly remarkable if you take into account that we left close to 24 hours after the fleet. That aside, we should be passing north of Palau soon and making our way to the first finish mark.
Can’t wait to arrive in Singapore, my home. Unshaven KC out.
Kong Chian Toh (KC)
Click here to read from the official clipper race site.