CALISO - FRIDAY 14th December - WE LANDED!!!!!!

Fri 14 Dec 2007 13:00
good morning - it is great to be typing on a flat surface, not holding on, nothing moving, wunderbar!!  so, here's a brief account of our last 32 hours for anyone out there still reading.
wednesday evening it rained and got rough again - three of us ate above decks and three below - we had been having more than our fair share of squalls.  the night shift - the last we hoped - continued in the same vane.  the first shift - dave and becky - loadsa rain.  mark and lisa on the 12-4 had no rain but instead a huge wave came over and completely flooded the cockpit and went over the bottom hatch insert and down into the cabin.  also, becky had opened the girls inner hatch again due to the heat and the beds got wet again!!!  she was really sorry obviously.  we will give everything a good scrub.  bob and i on the romantic early morning last sunrise shift had squall after squall, we got soaked over and over and the sunrise never really happened as it was so cloudy, but it was now our last morning and we had less than 70 miles to go and we were also 2 hours ahead of real time so all in all we knew we woild get in on thursday and - even better - in daylight.  we all had bets as to when we would arrive - dave and becky with wednesday and tuesday were out of the running - bob and lisa with friday were also out of the running. it was all down to mark and i - i said 9am on thursday and mark said 11pm so we had a 14 hour difference which meant my time went up to 4pm.  we arrived at 13.29pm. i was the winner.  the prize - a drink from each person.
anyway, back to our most gorgeous but huge sea off the coast of st. lucia. bob spotted land first at 10.15am and then it gradually got bigger and bigger - although somewhat hazy.  we could also see martinique off our starboard side.  the waves were huge.  they changed from dark blue to brilliant blue depending on the sun and then as we got shallower and shallower to the most beautiful turquoisey green.  they were however so huge and we were tipping over so far whilst surfing down some of the giants and mark said we should all life jacket and harness up again even though we were in sight of land.  we had to go round pigeon island and then into the bay in between the white ketch with the orange banner and the orange buoy.  we had to radio in 5 miles off and then again 2 miles off.  you wouldn't believe it but three boats came in together - travelled nearly 3,000 miles, left at same time and came in from different directions at exactly the same time.  one was ahead of us and the second boat - a charter racer in the racing division - looked to have just pipped us and as mark said - we are not racing.  they we were......  they tacked right in front of our nose - not very gentlemanly - and we tacked - mark now barking out orders as we had never heard him before.  lisa got two frictions burns on her legs and we were all just pulling sheets or letting them out on command - my hands felt worse after that than after the whole trip - no sailing gloves on.  they tacked too soon, we follow tacked, then tacked again and then pipped them over the finish line.  what a moment.  the guys on the ketch sounded the finish horn and we all went mad.  that's what it feels like to race over the finishing line when you are not racing!!  still we were all dead proud to have pipped them, especially as they were a racing crew all togged p and professional looking.  there was a photographer on a boat taking loads of shots and i will go and check out the results today.  everyone was waving and shouting congratulations.  we got our head sail away and then got out berthing instructions and motored into the marina.  well, that was amazing too - we came in at a brilliant time - all the other boats with people on them were clapping and shouting congratulations - i knew it would be magic.  this moment and the free rum was one of the reasons i wanted to go two years ago- that and not wanting to worry about bob - so it was just amazing.  us girls were hugging and trying to keep our emotions at bay.  we berthed without problem and then there was the lady with the free rum and fruit and bottle of bubbly - see following photos - the rum was delicious.  more team hugs and thanks in all possible combinations of the crew and then we started to chat to the boats around us and it was all just absolutely wonderful.  dry land - it rocked to start with.
we then did minmum clear up so that we could at least walk in the cockpit and then off to the bar at the end of the pantalon.  had loads of different cocktails and snacks and then a meal later.  no one knows what time we came back, probably not late by our normal standards, but as we were all used to going to bed at sundown, very late for us.  what a night.  loos where you could put the paper down them again.  it's the little joys!!  water that you could run and run and soap up your hands and then rinse it all off again.  everywhere people who were chatty and friendly and willing to share their sailing stories.  we met the crew that we pipped at the post and they called us "buggers".  nice bunch.  took it well. 
it is now next morning and the big boat clean up has been underway since 7.30am - mark and dave are both early risers.  the to do list is hanging on the wall and we are all busy as bees.  i will send this and hope that at least some of the atmosphere comes across.  thanks for following us and showing interest and look forward to seeing lots of you again in january when we are back.  mark and lisa fly home on tuesday, dave on wednesday.  bob and i have booked a hotel nearby so we are moving out for 5 days to give everyone else a bit more room -that's our excuse and we are sticking to it.  clean, fresh white sheets uuuuuuuummmmmmmmm.  we have sent the girls off with two huge bin bags full of dirty washing - including all the rank bedding.  bob, becky and i plan to head south for christmas, we have heard mustique is good for xmas, then st. vincent and on to the grenadines.  see how far we get.  we haven't got a return flight yet, but plan to come back about 6th or 7th jan.  becky is looking for a job on a boat and then further travels.  hope you all have a wonderful christmas.  thanks again for your patience reading my diary.  it's quite strange to write a diary knowing in the back of your head that people you don't know might be reading it.  hope you enjoyed.  out jan xx

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