Leg 3:Stage 2:Phase 2, complete.
Last night we waved goodbye to the Straits of Malacca and the hustling, bustling Singapore just to its south, and returned to the ocean life (our fourth different body of water this leg: the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal, Malacca Strait, and now the South China Sea). There remains just one more race within a race, within a race, within a race, before we get to Sanya.
Leg 3:Stage 2:Phase 3 takes us upwind, almost due north past the coast of Vietnam where we’ll again encounter numerous hazards of familiarized treachery – oil rigs, fishing nets, floating flotsam, shipping lanes, shoals, and the oft-feared monsoon. Could this be any more complex?
But, before we get ahead of ourselves I want to revisit last night’s experience (though, I’m not sure it’s a scene even possible to convey). Hundreds – literally hundreds – of 200-to-300-meter-plus ships anchored everywhere. Like a truck stop on I-90 in the US, there was an abundance of commercial confusion and the buzz of constant activity, everywhere you strained to look. All the while the massive metropolis of Singapore loomed upriver, bright enough to silhouette the surrounding aircraft carrier-sized ships. Fireworks exploded in the distance, celebrating some unknown occasion. To arrive to such energy and not stop seemed amiss (especially for the rest of the guys, who did in fact stop here during the 08-09 race), but that’s behind us now and it’s already been forgotten by most. All eyes look to China! T-minus 6 days to the Super Bowl. Tom, the clock is ticking.
(I say last night was forgotten by “most” and not all because, on a personal note, its nights like last night that make nighttime sailing my favorite. When I’m on deck during daylight hours I worry about what I’m filming and what I’m not; the threat of missing something is relentless and impeding. But at night, when it’s too dark to work, I’m forced to leave the cameras in the OFF position. I can simply sit on deck, watch, and enjoy the knowledge that what you see you keep for yourself. Last night was really unique…it was a scene very few people get to experience, and a scene I will certainly never forget. Sorry to be so selfish!)
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