A last minute announcement

This is a brief post for those of you who are planning to follow Spirit’s progress down to the British Virgin Islands with the Caribbean 1500’s fleet tracker.

Because of a last minute change in start time due to impending Atlantic weather systems (we’re leaving Portsmouth today, a day earlier) the organizers have decided on a “rolling start” – boats will not be starting at the same time, but rather crossing the starting line throughout the day. Each boat’s overall position in the event will be based on total elapsed time to the BVI, handicap adjusted. We plan on starting sometime mid-afternoon, while others will be stating earlier.

I hope this isn’t too confusing – we wanted to make sure everyone tracking us knew that the location of any one boat in the “pack” is not an indication of their rally position. Having said that, regardless of start times we’d love to see Spirit out front to satisfy our team’s competitive spirit.

The next post will be from Tortola, BVI in a little over a week when we can recap our experience.

Leg 2, day 12 – Mission Accomplished!

The journey across the Atlantic has concluded. We crossed the finish line at 6:55 am St. Lucia time on Sunday morning, December 29th. The ARC+ team was at the berth waiting to congratulate us and surprise the crew with rum punches and fruit – yes, even at that time of the morning. We were all very excited to learn that after times are corrected for handicaps, Spirit has a chance of coming in at 2nd place in our division – not bad for Atlantic crossing “first timers” (except for Tom who has now made seven of these crossings). His experience and guidance certainly made a difference.

While the race standings were a nice ending, the real results were in the experiences for each of us – guys who “signed up” with differing expectations. For some, a once in a lifetime experience, for others a chance to stretch the boundaries of their abilities. And for one, living a lifelong dream of his father’s. We worked as a team, but our emotions at the finish line were very individual.

Some reflections of this last 12 day leg include how a sole bird, in the middle of the Atlantic found not only Spirit, but alighted on David’s camera while he was taking a picture – causes one to pause. We’ll all take away the beauty and majesty of the nights – the stars, moon and rolling seas. We worked together as a team as we dealt with the occasional squalls and made sail changes. While David was perfecting his celestial navigation skills, Pat was landing Mahi Mahi for fresh dinners. Lars used the peaceful quiet times on watch to reflect on what was going on in his home country of Norway, Europe and the rest of the world as a result of terrorism. And while Tom reflected on his crossing number 7 as one with extremely favorable winds and seas, Hannah kept us all filled with delicious nightly dinners (as well as trying her best to clean up after five guys!)

I owe a great deal of thanks to the “volunteer” crew who took several weeks of time away from their families to join in this journey. Pat, David and Lars – you’re the best!

While this will be the last post about Spirit’s Atlantic crossing, Sue will be joining me, Tom and Hannah here in St. Lucia to start our island hoping up the Windward and Leeward Islands to Spirit’s new home in the British Virgin Islands. Spirit, owners and crew will then take a well-deserved break for Christmas.

Thank you for following our journey. We hope in some small way it encourages everyone to live their dreams.

Below are a few photos reflecting the crossing from the Cape Verde Islands.

It’s been quite a ride.

The start of Leg 2 in Cape Verde

The start of Leg 2 in Cape Verde

Pat landed his second Mahi Mahi

Pat landed his second Mahi Mahi

A man's got to do what he's got to do to stay out of the sun

A man’s got to do what he’s got to do to stay out of the sun

Lars mastered his GoPro

Lars mastered his GoPro

The ever present squalls

The ever present squalls

Lars getting ready for his night watch - lifejacket, yellow personal locator device and a safety line

Lars getting ready for his night watch – lifejacket, yellow personal locator device and a safety line

David taking a night fix

David taking a night fix

Another beautiful sunset

Another beautiful sunset

A sole bird landing on David's camera in the middle of the Atlantic

A sole bird landing on David’s camera in the middle of the Atlantic

St. Lucia Landfall - at 5:00 am

St. Lucia Landfall – at 5:00 am

A St. Lucia welcome - it's 5:00 O'clock somewhere!

A St. Lucia welcome – it’s 5:00 O’clock somewhere!

One happy, and tired, crew

One happy, and tired, crew

 

 

Sailing the Northeast coast of Sardinia

FlagsIt’s been several weeks since our last post but since the beginning of August, and for weeks to come, Spirit is exploring the coastline of Northeast Sardinia and the Southern coast of Corsica. From Portisco through the Maddalena archipelago and north to Corsica the sailing grounds are in many ways different from Mallorca – shorter distances between anchorages, more islands, and so far more winds. Mallorca has a wonderful charm of it’s own, but it’s interesting to experience and explore these different parts of the Mediterranean. So as not to be redundant with previous posts, and our words about special places, we’ll let the pictures below tell the story of these incredible sailing grounds.

Dick & Sue

Sardinia coarstline

Sardinia coastline

A not too shabby villa

A not too shabby villa

One of many lighthouses

One of many lighthouses

Sunset in Golfo Saline

Sunset in Golfo Saline

The moon showing off

The moon showing off

Rock formations - even bears

Rock formations – even bears

Spirit at anchor

Spirit at anchor

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A serine morning

A serine morning