Leg 2, day 1 – leaving Mindelo

Leg 2, day 1 – leaving Mindelo Our four-day rest is over and it’s back to the business of sailing. Last night was a bit restless. Marina Mindela was a lot like Road Town, Tortola in that it was somewhat open to waves and rolling. Despite our being at a berth, Spirit was pitching and bumping against the dock and neighboring boat, and jerking at the dock lines. Leading up to the 1300 start the cluster of all the boats vying for position was just as crazy as it was in Las Palmas – everyone wanting any possible advantage to get in the front of the pack. The starting line was just a ½ mile from the marina so we stayed at the dock until about 1215. When the race began we secured a great position and are now heading directly to St. Lucia. It’s hard to believe we’re embarking on this Atlantic crossing of over 2,000 miles, a first time for the four of us, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Our speed has been great, logging close to 200 miles on our first day. It’s good to be on course where, even though the waves and swells are bigger, it’s a rhythm we are used to except when the Atlantic swells take over and make us all hang on to everything the best we can. Only on accident – a plateful of Chile Con Carne went flying and landed on Lar’s lap when we had an unexpected roll. That, and getting used to sleeping while rolling back and forth are the most significant things of the day – all to be expected on a crossing like this. The Cape Verde Islands are located in the heart of the trade winds that are formed by what is known as the “Azore High”, a circular high-pressure system that extends from the Azores, down to Cape Verde then across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. This time of year the clockwise circular motion of this massive high-pressure system literally is pushing us across the Atlantic – a sailor’s dream of downwind sailing in 15 to 25 knots. The weather briefing yesterday couldn’t have been more positive – high pressure all the way across, no impending tropical disturbances expected, and almost perfect winds from the Northeast to East. Our spirits are high, as is our healthy respect for the sea. Life is good.