An exciting and memorable day here in Las Palmas as the 69 yachts participating in the ARC+ rally departed for their first stop in the Cape Verde Islands before continuing on to St. Lucia. The “buzz" on the docks has been building steadily all week as owners and crew tackled the remaining items on their pre-departure To Do lists. The weather gods delivered a gorgeous, sunny day with plenty of wind for a fast start. There were hundreds of spectators on shore cheering and clapping for each departing yacht as they left the marina. I found a perfect vantage point and watched as new friends onboard Clarelsa, Kiloran, Calla, Amythst 3 and other yachts headed away towards the starting line. For many of the skippers and crew, departure day marks the beginning of a highly anticipated adventure and the culmination of months, if not years of planning and preparation. Just being a spectator today was somewhat of an emotional experience for me, perhaps because I now know how much persistence, dedication and effort it takes to do this.
And now it’s our turn. More than 200 yachts will be leaving again two weeks from today on the 'direct route’ to St. Lucia. Interlude is nearly ready to roll (literally) and needs just food, beverages and crew aboard to begin our epic adventure. With a jam-packed schedule of seminars, social events and projects, these next two weeks are going to go quickly. I’m hoping to soak it all in and savor the moment(s) — it’s truly an amazing privilege being able to do this. Stay tuned for more updates during the days to come…