Blog | Scout making waves on Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race: Part II

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Scout volunteer George Bayles, 19, of 2nd South Petherton is tackling the biggest challenge of his life: the Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race. Aboard the Qingdao yacht, he’s one of a 10-strong crew who’ll be tackling the whole 40,000-mile adventure.

George will be writing a regular blog for the Scouts as he journeys around the world. In this second instalment he tells us about the many highs (and a couple of lows) of being at sea.

Leaving France

Coming third in the first race (London to Brest) made the whole team want to get up on the podium again. I'm still very excited as we think we are near, or at least at the head of the fleet.

Great Britain (another yacht in the race) is 30 nautical miles ahead of us and we're keen to catch up as they pinched a last-minute second place from us in the first race.

I count myself very lucky so far as I've not been seasick yet, while a few of the crew have suffered quite badly, mainly those on the mother watch (when a crew member takes responsibility for cooking for the team for a whole day). And, we've only had one injury on the boat, which resulted in a crew member being hit in the face with a winch handle and cracking a tooth.

After everything that has happened this week morale has stayed high and there haven't been any arguments between the crew, which is nice as we want to stay a happy team!

Of course, I've been missing my Scout Group (2nd South Petherton) and wondering what they have been up to. I know this trip has given the leaders new ideas for the weekly meetings; it's nice to know that they are still following me on my journey and I'll have plenty to tell them when I'm back.

From the Cape Verde Islands

In the last week we have had our ups and downs with roughly 2,000 miles left to Brazil.

Unfortunately, we have suffered a few injuries this week. One of the crew fell out of their bunk, causing severe bruising just below her ribs. This has made me more careful when I am tying myself into my own bunk.

One day after giving the deck a thorough clean with the fire hose, skipper Gareth Glover tied it up at the back of the boat and some of the crew members (including myself) enjoyed a shower in the fierce, beating sun. After nearly a week of not washing this was one of the highlights of my week.

Toilets on a boat are called heads. They are quite different from the ones at home; they don’t flush with a press of the button and waste goes straight into the sea (and you might have to do your business at a 30 degree angle).

The heads have to be manually pumped and this has been a problem this week. Unfortunately it flooded and took a while for our skipper to fix. Not great!

There was a special night for our Chinese crew members when the whole team celebrated The Lunar Festival or the mid-autumn festival as it is also known. This is the second most important festival in China (the most important is Spring). The Lunar Festival offers friends and family the chance to get together and watch the brightest full moon of the year (the festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar) to tell a traditional stories about the moon and eat a traditional moon cake, which is made out of green beans.

At watch change last night our Chinese crew members shared a traditional moon cake with us and told a traditional story and sang for the rest of the crew in the same way they would have done with their own family and friends back home. It was a lovely way to experience a bit of Chinese culture on our trip around the world.

Watch out for the next instalment of George’s blog or check out Part I. Find out more about the Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race and monitor the race progress.

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