Arriving in Mindelo was quite interesting, as we arrived 30 minutes before the ARC+ set off to cross the Atlantic.
As we approached Mindelo, our chart was going crazy with the 100-200 boats that were setting off all appearing.
Thankfully we took our sails down with plenty of time to avoid needing to do this around all of the other boats.
We tried to avoid crossing the start line which was between the NE breakwater and a bouy in the middle of the bay, so we snuck around the north side and then motored around all of the boats that were either putting their sails up or already had them up.
Extress who arrived 20 minutes before us had already navigated all of the boats radioed us on VHF to let us know where they were, as they had found a nice spot to watch the start from with Danae.
It was quite an interesting little route, and we nearly strayed into a dredging area once, but we made it before the start, and we were right next to the SW start bouy.
It’s quite crazy seeing hundreds of boats, many of which are sailed by amateurs, holding back from a start line waiting to cross.
The race started! And it was already clear who might have a chance of winning! (See if you can spot them in the video below)
And indeed, they did cross the ARC+ finish line first after just 9 and a bit days.
So many boats disappearing over the horizon
Once the start line was clear, we headed into the marina with Danae and Extress. It was amazingly empty after the race started, but throughout the day it would progressively fill with the next wave of boats looking to make the crossing.
This was our first time mooring Mediterranean style, but all went smoothly. We decided to come in bow first next to a lovely German boat called Beagle, got our lines attached on the bow, pulled back, and sorted out the rest.
We ended up with quite a few lines on the front, all with anti-chafe and anti-chafe for the anti-chafe in various places as we found this marina to move around quite a lot.
And when we wondered around the marina, we saw that Maiden was also in the marina!
Maiden is a 58 foot aluminium ocean racing yacht built in 1979, designed by Bruce Farr and raced by Pierre Fehlmann, Bertie Reed and Tracy Edwards and John Bankart. Edwards bought the yacht in 1987 to compete in the 1989–90 Whitbread Round the World Race with an all-female crew.Wikipedia