St Lucia, Thursday, 12 December. 14.04.63N 60.56.89W

David Batten
Thu 12 Dec 2013 16:17
We made it! Supper was a triumph for Greggie, really delicious and we all enjoyed the final meal at sea in the cockpit under nearly clear skies. The last watches were the usual mixture of white knuckle rides in the gusts with a big sea rolling the boat around and pleasant interludes of easy steering and consistent progress. Arrival time fluctuated between pre and post dawn and the first lights of St Lucia were seen by Greggie on the 2.00am to 4.00am watch. The ship's Boy or Speedy Mr Toad was made to slow down during the next watch as the wind got up, but the finale came on Jane's watch, (well it would wouldn't it) just as we were off Pigeon Island. Dawn was breaking and we had already had one nasty squall when it became all rain and wind, like blotting everything out rain and over 30 knots of wind. Twin headsails were furled, the boom centralised and the staysail set. No need for any mainsail, as we were doing 8 knots with the staysail alone. We could see the yacht with a flashing light that was one end of the finishing line, but had no chance of seeing the buoy marking the other end. A camera man came out in a little rib to film us crossing the line, but it was raining so hard he could't risk the camera. It was wet, wet, wet!

After crossing the line and ensuring we had no ropes in the water, it was engine on, staysail furled and into the marina through the very narrow entrance. We were met by one of the ARC team who helpfully directed us to a nice berth on the I "wall" next to Red Cat, where we went aground just as we were approaching the berth. So, into reverse and into one of the super yacht berths nearer the entrance, where we are greeted by 2 of the ARC team and a local who has a fab rum cocktail and basket of fruit for us. Just imagine how good that drink tasted! Lots of photographs, followed by tidy up and scrambled egg breakfast and champagne kindly supplied by Greggie and texts to family to say we have arrived.

The girls all have a shower while the 2 David's sort out immigration etc and guess what, it continues to rain in torrents in a series of squalls, so it is getting very hot below deck. When the boys come back, we move to a more appropriate berth next to Axonite, who was our neighbour in Las Palmas, the price for a super yacht berth being double that of an ordinary berth. Hugo from Axonite tells us that they went North and enjoyed 45 knot winds as well as 24 hours motoring, so we are quite glad we went south.

Well, no chance of drying anything at the moment, so we may just catch up on sleep!

Alcedo, Rodney Bay Marina.

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