The Celebes Sea is a very chilled outplace. After we had spent days battling our way across a windy partof the South Pacific Ocean, we entered this calm zone just south ofthe Philippines.
The sea, which spreads from horizon to horizon, isalmost flat and the sun beats down. The only thing which can be seenon the surface is our little convoy of Clipper Race boats along withthe local wooden fishing vessels which circle round near us. And theodd flying fish can also be seen skimming along the top of the water.It's all very calm and dreamlike.
The problem with this calmness is that there is no wind - a crucial component for a sailing vessel like ours. Therefore, the Clipper Race organisers have decided that Race 8 is suspended as the twelve boats make their way under engine power across the Celebes Sea and the neighbouring Sulu Sea.
Once we have got that far, the plan is to resume racing to the finish line at Singapore and the times of the two parts of the race will be added together to determine the winner. In the meantime, we are carrying out maintenance and cleaning on our boat while we make our way slowly towards the new race start line. It's useful to give the boat a good check over – another Clipper Race boat OneDLL_ discovered three shark teeth in their rudder where something hungry had taken a bite.
In fact, we have been using the calmer weather to have a bit of fun on board. After we crossed the Equator, we held a ceremony to initiate the crewmembers that hadn't sailed across it before. All of them had to wear fancy dress before being brought before King Neptune and turned into Shellbacks - the exclusive club of people who have been in a boat across the Equator.
But it's not all fun. Despite the fact that the first part of Race 8 lasted over three weeks, the first eight boats in the Clipper Race fleet entered the Celebes Sea within a few hours of each other.
We came sixth but if we do well in the second part of the race, we could easily climb the leaderboard. Let's hope the wind is stronger for us on the final run-in to Singapore.