Blog | Scout making waves on Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race: Part VI
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 taking on the whole 40,000-mile adventure.
George is writing a regular blog for the Scouts as he journeys around the world. In his sixth instalment, George leaves San Francisco and battles the elements to Jamaica.
We left San Francisco in the sunshine; I was thinking that after the Pacific Ocean it was all going to be downhill to London – I was wrong.
In the first week going to Panama we damaged more sails than we had done in the last three months, but we managed to mend them with the sewing machine we have onboard.
The wildlife has been fantastic; on this trip we saw a Manta ray doing a back-flip alongside us. We also saw lots of turtles and have also had the company of pods of dolphins playing in our wake.
We collected our pilot for the trip along the Panama Canal where we were accompanied by two other Clipper boats and an enormous Argentinean sailing boat. As we sat in the lock next to the huge gates it was awe-inspiring remembering that the canal is man-made with a huge loss of life. Our transit through the canal took a whole day with us moving from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean.
Next stop: Jamaica
After everyone had gone through the canal we started the next race to Jamaica; this was expected to be a two-day race but it took five days as we were fighting upwind, which took much longer than expected.
When we arrived we had a great welcome from the local Port Antonio community and it also gave me the opportunity to meet up with the local Scouts. About 40 of them arrived with their leaders. I gave them a talk about life onboard a racing boat before giving them a tour and we also swapped neckers and badges.
The crew were sad to leave Jamaica but it was time to sail to New York. Again, the wind was not kind to us and we found ourselves in a wind hole going nowhere fast. We finally arrived in New York three days later than planned but it was worth it to sail past the Statue of Liberty in the blazing sunshine...