Hello everyone! This is Hefner – the smartest person onboard the mighty Sanya Serenity Coast yacht (or at least Dmitry thinks so after I was the first person onboard apart from him to adopt his mechanical chopper for fresh vegetables). Ironically, the smartest person (me that is) didn’t realize that Dmitry is actually that notorious crew now responsible for media who’s been chasing people around for blogs. So here I am sharing my thoughts and reflections after barely one week onboard as a new legger.


The cheerful race start day that saw us in the lead since Cape Town seems a distant memory now, for I suffered from seasickness as expected for the first three days, burying my head in the head (toilet onboard) for most of the time. From that experience I can guarantee you that keeping the vessel clean and organized is absolutely essential! Heads are cleaned after every watch. Every cave locker onboard is numbered and its contents recorded in the boat’s inventory list, allowed me to swiftly locate the oranges (despite the heeling boat due to the rough sea state).



As I was chewing oranges wrapped in my sleeping bag, I also chewed away the chance of seeing a whale real close. One mother and calf were spotted merely meters away from the boat as we were sailing out of Cape Town harbour the first night, but sadly I was not on deck. The Southern Ocean of leg 3 is not at all whale filled, as I had expected before, or just I haven’t learnt to distinguish a whale fin from the white waves yet. But I will keep watching. I did finally see one albatross today though. Very impressive, beautiful large bird gracefully gliding above water. And if you haven’t seen one, no need to wonder “is it an albatross?” every time you spot a sea bird, you will know it when you see one.


As for the life on deck, the crew is split into two watches, and we operate a 4 hour night watch and 6 hour day watch system. I am very lucky to be in a very nice and experienced watch, who tolerated my absence from a few night watches, and teaching me more about sail handling or just for the fun and laughter together. Everyday one crew from each watch would go on a galley watch. They are no doubt the most important people onboard, as they would feed the whole crew for the whole day. Just as I type this, today’s stars Kimberley and Doc are producing a fancy citrus madeira cake (aka Wendo’s yellow cake) and our skipper Wendo is sitting on the settee licking the bowl, it was only pity that Ming is not here to capture that.


7 days into the race, we are still enjoying being in the lead. But eventually victory depends on both skills and luck. We will try not to make mistakes to maintain our advantage. But for now, I just want to continue enjoying the sailing, the race and the sea, keep looking out for whales and other wildlife. Fair winds to us all.