We arrived in the early hours of Day 31 after a frustrating end to Race 2 in the first Leg to a welcoming party and a few unexpected family members in the welcoming party. It was an emotional time for me as I felt relief and also a sense of achievement at crossing my first ocean. Reality soon kicked in as we only had 3 days to prep the boat ready for race start of Leg 2. All hands on deck literally to get the boat deep cleaned, shop for the supplies and do some urgent repairs (including my ‘still to be used’ sewing machine for sail repairs). Yvonne did a fantastic job of finding a good hotel and all of us enjoyed a bed where you have a chance of laying star shaped and numerous showers (just because you can). Sadly the only sight-seeing was up to Christ the Redeemer for a few hours but offering a fantastic sunset view of the city. We did manage to get out as a team to sample some local bar life including live music (and dancing for the usual crew members who like to pirouetting around the floor – our celebration ritual started in Brest). Rio did offer the chance to catch up with friends on other boats and find out more about their experiences as we passed on the quay side. Coffees have been booked in Cape Town to have a proper catch up and compare notes. For some, however, it proved too much and I saw two people I have previously trained with walk away from the experience. It must be a hard decision to make having committed time and money into the preparations for this journey. There have been moments for me, where my motivation has been wavering and when these moments have come I have had the council of some amazing crew members as well as support from family and friends at home. Emails and messages have been a lifeline and definitely a highlight when you get a little bold message saying ‘You have Mail’. Some sad goodbyes to those leaving the boat but knowing we will be in touch and meet back in London.
Our diligence on taking interesting photos paid off as Shazza won the Leg 1 photo competition. Look out for it on Clipper website