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
Pat landed his second Mahi Mahi
A man’s got to do what he’s got to do to stay out of the sun
Lars mastered his GoPro
The ever present squalls
Lars getting ready for his night watch – lifejacket, yellow personal locator device and a safety line
David taking a night fix
Another beautiful sunset
A sole bird landing on David’s camera in the middle of the Atlantic
St. Lucia Landfall – at 5:00 am
A St. Lucia welcome – it’s 5:00 O’clock somewhere!
One happy, and tired, crew