Skip left Friday morning from Hampton VA on our friend’s boat Lady of Lorien.  He’s crewing on their journey back to England with the ARC-Europe rally.  Mike and Angie were so busy and stressed getting their boat ready for the trip.  Even up to the last-minute we were busy helping them stow and secure items.

Lady of Lorien crew
Lady of Lorien crew: Tod, Skip, Angie and Mike

Bailey and I drove down to Hampton last Wednesday to take part in the festivities and help prepare for leaving.  There were 3 other boats leaving from Hampton: Mojito, Elsocare and Kalandria.  We had met Patricia and James on Mojito 2 years ago in the Bahamas.  They’re from South Africa and sail a custom mojito-colored Hunter 50.  Patricia will captain the boat across the Atlantic while James heads back to SA for work.  They’re ultimately heading to the Mediterranean cruising grounds.

Mojito crew
Mojito crew–Patricia is on the boom

Several members of the rally sponsoring group were coordinating activities in Hampton.  They did safety inspections and held captain’s meetings as well as arranged for some fun activities.  We attended a cocktail party, rode on the historic carousel and enjoyed a pizza dinner at the Hampton Yacht Club.

Rideum Horsie

Ready for sailing

In the evenings, Skip and I stayed with our friends Rocky and Marti who live just a few miles from the marina.  I helped Angie finish her shopping, stow food and equipment and clean the boat.   I was so sad to stand on the dock and see them head out to the Bay knowing that I won’t see Skip until he arrives in England, hopefully in about 6 weeks.

Leaving the dock
Last wave from Skip as they leave the dock

You can follow their trip on the World Cruising Club website.  They’re posting daily logs entries and each boat is fitted with a transponder that shows their location and speed (click on the Fleet Viewer on the right side of the screen.)  The rest of the rally fleet is heading from the Caribbean to Bermuda.  All boats will cruise through the Azores before reaching their final destinations.

So far, Bailey and I are keeping busy on our own.  I hope to hear from Skip during this trip via satellite phone and will post any additional information as I find out what’s happening.
Lady of Lorien leaving Hampton
Lady of Lorien sailing for Bermuda (photo taken by committee boat)