Goodbye Southern Ocean and VAMOS PUNTA DEL ESTE...
I am writing this blog a day early, as tomorrow we will be arriving in Airlie Beach – after a wonderful, exciting and truly epic journey through the Southern Ocean, around Tasmania and into the Coral Sea… today we also had our last ‘Happy hour’, where the two watches meet, we discuss race updates, play games and chat. Today we exchanged our highlights from the last weeks, reminding ourselves about the waves and the stars in the Southern Ocean, the magical fluorescence in the sea, the dolphins we encountered and the red sun and dark days in the wildfire smoke.
Before stepping off our yellow boat that has become a home over the last few weeks, I would like to talk about the team that has made all of this such a special experience. I’ll start with Mary, the fantastic head of the ‘Gladiator watch’ – who lead us through flawless combinations of reefs, Spinnaker kite hoists and Yankee drops in such a cheerful way, we felt truly cared about. Equally a pillar of keeping it all together is Andres, organising all the work on board, always there to help, from explaining the software to crushing tin cans and ready at any moment to break out into a song and salsa dance (much to Josie’s horror!).
Then there is Ryan, our First Mate and true Canadian sailor - always calm and friendly even in the trickiest situations ‘Rizza, darling, would you mind easing that Yankee just a little bit?’, masterfully trimming the sails of our yellow lady and helming her through many sleepless nights.
And finally a big thank you, of course, to our captain Jeronimo, for creating the unique Punta del Este spirit – being competitive but giving everyone the chance to contribute, learn and weigh in on big decisions, and remaining positive, no matter what the Gods of currents and wind holes have in store for us – and of course dropping anything and everything when sea life shows up to greet us.
So long Southern Ocean – VAMOS, PUNTA DEL ESTE!