Our day started early as we were called for our watch as we reached the finish line with all crew on deck, but even though we had the chance to celebrate our safe arrival at the welcome party, the boat that had looked after us for a week now needed looking after herself.
We were dragged away from the celebrations to our permanent berthing position to allow other boats to be received into Portimão, and our work was just starting.
At the end of each race, the boat goes through a deep clean which involves taking everything out of the boat below, sails, ropes, clothing, food, mattresses and the floor of the boat. We can then sponge clean and inspect the bilges, empty the water from them, scrub the floorboards, our living accommodation, the walls and floors, and wipe over with anti-bacterial spray in the galley and heads.
Francesca and me were allocated the Lazarette; this is the loft space in your house but on board, everything is taken out, water, diesel, anchor, dingy. We get out our buckets and mops to sponged dry the floor and walls. Everyone is involved in cleaning the boat and jobs are rotated. This is where we look after the boat after she has looked after us.
The major jobs were completed by 1300 hours and after lunch, on board, we had the afternoon off, most went for showers, warm freshwater cascading and washing all the salt away.
A lot of the crew went off to their pre booked hotels or apartments as they were having friends over, about five of us stayed on board overnight.
We spent a lot of time to reflect on what we had been through - it cannot have been just one week!
We went to bed tired but pleased with ourselves that we had completed a competitive race and considering it was our first time sailing together, we were proud of ourselves.