We left very early Saturday morning to experience the only North American stopover of the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race. It was, in a word, AWESOME! We headed straight to the beach to watch the in-port race only to realize we'd forgotten to pack binos. A search of local stores came up empty, but we did meet some nice Canadians, Peter and Roy, who shared with us! We had the Livestream coverage of the race going on the iPad so together we had it all covered! Post-race we checked into our hotel (which was a short walk from the race village!) and headed back to see the boats. So cool! And we were just walking around mere feet away from the skippers and crew. Rain started coming down during the awards ceremony, but that couldn't dampen our spirits, especially mine--I got a photo with Mike Pammenter of the Camper crew!!! Diner and a pitcher of mojitos really got us going! The village was cool! We compete on the grinders, did the sailing simulator, saw a 3-d movie, and shopped for Puma gear. We even got to go down to the dock to see the Camper and Puma boats up close.
The excitement continued Sunday as we hit the race village for the departure ceremony. It's tough to really explain the energy and excitement of the scene. Watching the crews say goodbye to their families tugged at my heart. My accomplishment of the morning was using my big mouth to get Groupamma skipper Franck Cammas to turn and wave at me. :). Miami sent the teams off in style. After a little more shopping we returned to the beach to sweat out the race start. Even the iPad overheated! The race is close as the teams head out across the Atlantic and I'm ready to get home and see my babies!