Lara’s Reflections on Leg 2

It has been more than half a month since I finished my Clipper adventure on 28th October, but I feel everything that happened on deck was just like yesterday.

I really miss the ocean blue, the sky full of stars, the sunrise and sunset everyday, even the 6-6-4-4-4 watch  system. The first three days we met strong wind and it made me seasick for the whole three days. After a terrible experience vomiting on Shona’s back and hair (I was sitting on the windward side~Big big apologies again Shona~), sweet skipper gave me a bucket and ordered me not to go anywhere without holding it. But starting from the fourth day, everything became more interesting~

In Rio, Ericka offered me this tip which she found in leg 1: A long distance sailing race is not a matter of sailing skills, but more about how to get used to the life on boat. Then this turned out to be very true. Sleeping with a big angle I sometimes had to hold onto a locker with a whole arm to prevent me falling down from the bunk. And on my mother watch day, I slept on a very high bunk since someone took mine. Justin is more than 190cm tall and he didn’t even see me there because the bunk’s big angle. Unfortunately, his strong hand caught my face when he tried to get something from the top bunk locker. Doing anything with a big angle makes us look like we were from a circus; keeping balance on the bow when Qingdao was totally a non-stop roller coaster; taking the right order for my middle east style black tea, or they definitely will serve a traditional British one. End of the tough part.

Most of the sailing days we had stable winds, there was not much tacking or gybing or sail changes, just a couple of reefs and trimming the spinnaker. Some of crews from Clipper 11-12 suggest me to think about my future on deck, since there would be lots of free time. But even it seems there was not much to do with sails, on the second to last day of my leg 2 I suddenly realized I was so occupied and had had no time to do any deep thinking. Happy hour starts:

I spent 3 nights in the tiny toilet to wait for my pet with a small bowl. Sorry for my English speaking, I call them “Shining shining animal in the ocean”. Anyone watched the “Life of Pi”? Remember during night the boat was surrounding with colorful fluorescent sea animals? Yes the real Atlantic Ocean is just like that! I heard of it in leg 1 they met a group of shining jellyfish, it was amazing. In leg 2 there were only firefly size but I still love them~ And finally after countless flushing, I caught three pets!! Oh yeah~!! Everybody on my watch all love these three. But after Grandpa Justin illuminated these three little cuties, they quickly died. During the day time, the sailing is like a safari tour in ocean. Dolphins dolphins dolphins, so many dancing dolphins and I won’t go to any aquariums any more… Also seals near Cape Town. Helming in big wind or during night was hard, but challenging, so I loved it~

Skipper Gareth is a great leader since he is a humor master. Even we got the last position in leg 2, on the arriving day he was searching for a mirror all over the yacht to help him with shaving. After he finished that, he came and showed it to everyone — he got his half right bow be shaved up! He is also a panda killer! Vicky brought a toy panda on boat as a mascot of Qingdao and Gareth killed it~! Ask more details from the killer when you get on Qingdao~!

I love them all, and I know they are suffering a terrible time on the way to Australia. Vicky used to post a short blog every two days, but start from leg 3, she was so struggle to keep this and from her blogs I know what happened. Keith, George, Liz, Frankie, Bryan are all ill; one spinnaker broke into half from the middle; every watch everybody gets all wet through… God bless you Qingdao! Keep No. 1 and you will win!

Although in leg 2 we were the last one, but this sailing experience is so memorable and every lovely crew is awesome! You made my life~! Jia you, Qingdao!

Best regards,



2 thoughts on “Lara’s Reflections on Leg 2

  1. Hi LAra – have you got a link to Vicky’s blog posts?> I’d love to read them – Keith is my brother in law – watching Henri LLoyd pull ahead is agonising!

  2. Hi Lara, don’t apologise for your English you have described beautifully your time on Qingdao and your style made it all the more interesting to read. I am on L7 and so anxious to get going. Will you be in Qingdao to see her home? I hope to be there; maybe see you?

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