Arrived in Mindelo – what a week!

While this past week was full of memorable moments, the last day really capped off the first leg of our adventure. Not only were we flying the spinnaker at night to make the best time possible, we ended up in a head to head race to the finish with the yacht PG Roshni, a smaller but much lighter boat. They finished about 1,500 feet ahead of us (after a 865 nautical mile leg) but after handicaps were applied Spirit moved ahead of them in the rankings. Our overall finish was 4th in our class and 8th overall – out of 63 boats competing, we’re very happy with the results.

Reflecting back on this last week we can’t help but think about getting up every three hours during for the night watches, and while shaking the cobwebs out of our heads trying our best to focus on all kinds of sail and course adjustments to maximize every ounce of wind. Every night was a learning experience – some lessons not to be repeated! We’ve de-briefed our strategies, made some adjustments and are ready for the next leg.

We’ll be here in Mindelo, Sao Vicente, Cape Verde until next Wednesday the 18th when we start leg 2 of the race to St. Lucia. Now that we’re in a marina and have all the internet creature comforts we’ve included below a photographic summary of this past week.

The journey continues…

Dick at the helm - heading out to the starting line in Las Palmas

Dick at the helm – heading out to the starting line in Las Palmas

63 boats, all trying to get favorable positions for the start

63 boats, all trying to get favorable positions for the start

“What are you doing?”

The start, and up goes the spinnaker

The start, and up goes the spinnaker

A horizon full of competitors

A horizon full of competitors

David at the helm

David at the helm

Pat at the helm

Pat at the helm

Tom downloading weather information

Tom downloading weather information

Lars at the helm

Lars at the helm

Patience pays off for Pat

Patience pays off for Pat

David looking on as Pat lands a 20 lb Mahi Mahi

David looking on as Pat shows off his 20 lb Mahi Mahi

From the sea to our plates - Hannah preparing the filets

From the sea to our plates – Hannah preparing the fillets

A day of settled seas

A day of settled seas

David taking a noon site with his sextant

David taking a noon site with his sextant

Sunrise off the coast of Africa

Sunrise off the coast of Africa

After 865 nautical mikes and 5 days, and just 19 miles from the finish line of leg 1 – Spirit is head to head with a competitor

The finish line in sight - our competitor in sight

The finish line in sight – our competitor in sight

The Spirit crew (left to right) Lars, Dick, David, Pat, Hannah & Tom

The Spirit crew cheering the completion of leg 1 (left to right) Lars, Dick, David, Pat, Hannah & Tom