As the yachts pulled out of the Bayside Marina yesterday morning, there was one familiar face on the jetty to wave them off.
Jane (Jazz) Black was there to wish London Clipper all haste while she gets better from her severe bruising following a fall on board.
After the teams departed Tokyo Bay Jane returned to the Race Office where it was soon evident that something was afoot as the building started to vibrate slightly. This was one of the routine tremors that occur every few days and it is a great testimony to the engineering and design of all the buildings, roads and railways that these have become merely looked on as part of life in this area.
Well away from the shakes ashore, the Clipper yachts managed to make quite good progress to the west. Bristol Clipper has capitalised on her good start and is on her own more inshore than the others.
Hong Kong Clipper has recovered from their poor start and is once again doing well by going in a different direction, but this time has Glasgow and London snapping on their heels. Cape Town are making a good showing in the centre, leading an arrow head with Liverpool and Jersey to the north and New York to the south.
The Clipper crews are now getting back into their routine and their skippers will be working overtime with the mass of shipping which churns round the coast, making the defined shipping lanes like maritime motorways. Inevitably these have to be crossed and at night if the wind is calm the skippers will be having precious little sleep.
The conditions are expected to become progressively lighter over the next 24-hours and this will make the effect of the currents and tidal streams greater. As always when the conditions become fickle there will be winners and losers.
Bristol Clipper has the problem of trailblazing while the others chase in different conditions; it's unlikely that skipper Richard Butler will be complaining however!
Bayside Marina now looks very different without the yachts and the crews. Apart from the Marina's excellent facilities, the Clipper fleet was also blessed with dry clear weather during the visit which made a great difference. Another major factor was the special group rate in the vast Yokohama Prince Hotel, taken up by many of the crews after their challenging crossing of the Pacific Ocean.
As the Clipper crews headed back to the high seas, their comments were all in the same vein; apart from being too short the Yokohama stopover had been a great success, largely due to the friendliness of the Japanese hosts.