Today we began to feel almost human again and we are slowly settling into this Caribbean way of life. I like to stop and talk to the Rastafarians who like to joke with me and are pleased that at last ‘Shorty’ has slowed down Man. They are all so friendly. The laundry returned clean, fresh but much more than the quote, but Brindabella remains messy and seems continually upside down.
I felt quite desperate to escape the marina today; to see something outside this strange claustrophobic little marina world. We pumped up the dinghy and went for a swim out in the bay off the beach. It was even stranger to see Pigeon Island and the finish boat in the bay, with flash backs to Thursday morning. The water was wonderfully therapeutic and feeling refreshed we returned to marina life.
‘Liberty’ was nowhere to be seen in the marina so it was great to find them when searching for the fuel dock. They were tucked away between the superyachts one of which is owned by Antonio Banderas. We were invited aboard Liberty and reluctant at first as we were dripping from our swim, we then mulched in the cockpit with Siun, Graham and Paul and devoured a bottle and a half of rum between us. We were joined by their very interesting neighbours who are doing an analysis of plastics in the sea and it was dark by the time we left feeling somewhat squiffy.
There was a cocktail party on at ‘Buzz’ in the village at 6pm but we were enjoying ourselves far too much on Liberty to move. The plan was to spend a couple of hours at the bar then be back by 8pm in time to welcome Zahara, the smallest boat in the fleet. With no lights and fuzzy from rum we motored back for quick showers and a lump of quiche before heading to the end of the main pontoon. There was nobody there.
When ARC staff did arrive it was not for Zahara but Sylvia of Blakeney. Zahara were now expected around midnight but we were asked to stay on and welcome Sylvia. It seemed a little strange cheering at the unfamiliar boat that approached but hoped the welcome lifted their spirits as our welcome had lifted ours. Back on Brindabella with the VHF listening out for the finish line we slipped into a rum induced coma!
Huge crowds gathered to greet Ron and Larry, the fog horns and cheers preventing any sleep for the neighbouring boats. We rushed from the end of the main pontoon round to their berth to greet them again and I was so relieved to see our friend here safe and sound on his tiny boat. Over rum punch highlights of the crossing were shared then leaving them we returned to grab 39 winks before the next event.
A couple of hours later I woke to an empty space next to me in bed and from the VHF heard Catare had arrived, the next smallest boat crewed by three lovely Swedish girls. Guessing where Simon was I locked up the boat and joined the all night party of participants who had stayed up to greet them. Zahara and the girls had a deal that whoever lost between them had to buy dinner for the others. Ron decided it was a win-win situation as what ever happened he got to have dinner with three gorgeous Swedish girls.
We were just leaving the Zahara arrival when we were asked to stay on and welcome the last boat this week due shortly. Everyone staggered across the pontoon and a very unexpected welcome greeted the Canadian boat. Johnny from the tourist board who had been providing rum punch, a huge bottle of Heineken and baskets of fruit to all the boats was now well and truly in party mood as this was the last boat he had to welcome. He disappeared and returned with umpteen bottles of rum punch for everyone around: A truly Caribbean breakfast!