Sailing to the Eastern world has been a bit surreal. When you're out there, offshore, you're in a bubble--you know you're moving and racing to some place new, but it's not like traveling on an aeroplane. Travel by air takes hours, not weeks, so when you arrive in a new place it's generally not as over whelming.
We arrived at night and were met with a small boat loaded with enough fireworks to explode the boat (we're actually all shocked the boat did not!), and the celebration continued on land. Hundreds of people met us on the dock, and lights and fireworks blinded us--the visual overload was quickly hitting off the charts. People swarmed us taking photos and calling our name, bursting our so-well protected bubble that developed over the last few weeks.
Our first night in China was a surreal night, one filled with celebration and smiles. Team SCA was not celebrating on our own either--all six boats had finished within 13 hours of each other!
In the morning however, as the confetti began to settle and the reality sunk in: we were in China. It's a bit like the American fable Rip Van Winkle - where a man goes to sleep for 20 years and wakes up recognising no one in his village.
It's an idea that life continues as you're racing around the world. For three weeks, you're hardly in touch with the rest of the world (a few personal emails or basic news)--you're incredibly removed from normal life. And then BAM! You're back into the functioning world--every form of technology back at your fingertips.
Would you be able to completely shut off from the rest of the world for three weeks? Go into a hole, live basic and work, work, work with your co-workers. It's a strange concept but it puts life into perspective. It allows you to appreciate daily 'land' life.
It really allows you to look at a new culture and appreciate it on a new level--a level perhaps unobtainable if you were to fly to a new place. It's a rare opportunity to see the world like this--a bit of extremes from simplicity to sensory overload--a bit of shock however completely exciting and stirs an inner sense of adventure.
Now that we are finally back on land, I also wanted to introduce the newest member of our team, Anna-Lena Elled, who I will be rotating with as the OnBoard Reporter for Team SCA. A Swedish journalist, Anna-Lena will be taking the reigns on leg four from Sanya, China to Auckland, New Zealand. Good luck Anna-Lena! I wish you the very best for leg four and can't wait to read your Huffington Post Blog!