UNICEF has arrived in Seattle in second place after an epic race while other teams have sustained significant damage and are limping to Seattle. My USA trip visiting the National Parks is progressing well with visits to Yosemite, Kings Valley and Sequoia National Park and Death Valley today.
Highlights this week were the departure of the Clipper yachts from Qingdao, including a strong looking UNICEF team, to cross the Pacific Ocean and hiking the Great Wall during a week long visit to Beijing. Sailing for the boats have been frustratingly slow this week with little wind which kept changing direction. But now they are sailing in stronger winds after rounding the Japanese peninsula heading straight for Seattle.
It is nice to be back for a few days planning the next stage of the adventure, but I am starting to get itching feet already. Today I am in Den Helder where the whole idea of travelling round the world and the Clipper race began and where the boats will arrive on 23 July. Planning the next stage of my adventure is going well; 4 days with the Clipper teams in Qingdao, a 15 day tour through China and flights to visit Seattle and San Francisco to then drive a 20 day route visiting the National Parks on the way to Cedar Rapids. Can’t wait to get going again.
Another week full of emotions and surprises. This adventure certainly keeps me on my toes. Saying goodbye to my friends on Clipper UNICEF and then travelling back to the UK for medical treatment was difficult but today I am booking flights and accommodation for a return to Qingdao in China while the teams are having an upwind battle towards the east coast of Taiwan trying to maintain the highest VMG possible.
This has been a crazy week consisting of a hero’s welcome, visits to the medical centre and, much more importantly, a moving visit to a day centre for Agent Orange victims, crossing roads with thousands of scooters and motorbikes whizzing past, repairing a 300 square meter spinnaker sail, a gala price giving dinner with original Vietnam entertainment, a visit to an ancient heritage site My Son and the old town of Hoi An and top all that with an evening sailing parade with 250 thousand people lining the river clapping and cheering. Where do I begin? Should I even try to capture all that?