after nearly being thrown out of the country on arrival - apparently going through a gate makes you an illegal immigrant - singapore was a really good stopover. we had some time off, having done the deep clean at sea, and we made the most of it.
we were berthed at the 1'15 marina on sentosa island. the posh hotel had the most amazing pool facilities and they very kindly let us use their showers for the week we were there. amazing showers and luxury.
nothing much else to report. bought a dress. wore the dress. had a nice week in the sun!
except, that 5 of our tiny crew decided to leave us in singapore... we were now down to 7...
they all had their reasons; injury, financial strain, having discovered they'd learned what they wanted to on the race and they wanted to go home. there is nothing we can do to persuade them to stay. if folk want to go we have to let them go. it's hard, they're friends, you've been through a lot together, and they're leaving you shorthanded but you can't think about that.
justin the race director put out a call for volunteers to sail with us to qingdao. if they couldn't find 5 folk willing to swap, we couldn't sail to qingdao. it was a tense few days while we waited to hear what would happen.
he also called a meeting with us to try and find out why we were losing so many crew. I don't think, to be fair, we were losing any more than the other boats it's just that we were already starting out with a smaller number so it seemed worse. honestly, we were possibly a little defensive when we spoke to mark. we wanted to make it clear that it wasn't matt, or (we hoped) anything the core team were doing, but just circumstance and life getting in the way. this happens. particularly on a year long sailing trip, with injuries and folk at home getting sick.
finally we were told we were getting one permanent transfer from GB and four other volunteers from four other boats. ben from GB was a RTWer, and 3 of the 4 others were also RTWers. we had aly from switzerland, keith from qingdao, paddy from invest africa and the legend that is ross from old pulteney.
we were 12 again! we could sail to qingdao!