A short trip up one of the rivers in Hong Kong showed what a fascinating place it is. All around were different sorts of boats, from one-man fishing vessels to junks to luxury yachts. There was even a floating restaurant. Unfortunately, we didn't get to eat there as we were in Hong Kong for only 24 hours.
Hong Kong was never on the Clipper Race itinerary but the twelve Clipper 70 boats were diverted there for maintenance work on our forestays - a cable which supports the mast - after they came loose on three of the boats. The Clipper Race founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston met us at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club with a suitcase of super-strength rope to solve the problem and after testing the new fitting at sea, we are now on the way to the start line to begin Race 9 to the Chinese port of Qingdao.
But the diversion to Hong Kong means the route of the race has been changed. We will now be going through the Taiwan Strait - a place with rough seas and high winds. It's likely to be a tough couple of days as we go through it and we have been ensuring that our kit is safely stowed and won't go bouncing around. Even though we still have a few hundred miles to go the strait, my boat Switzerland is occasionally 'slamming' when we go over the top of a wave and drop down the back side. There is a loud crash each time we do it - it's a foretaste of what we can expect on our way to China.
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