The Finish

Thu 18 Dec 2008 11:05

Position: 14:04.666N 060:56.885W


We set off to compete in the ARC

And sailed through light and through dark

On the 21st day

We reached Rodney Bay

Without the crew throwing me to a shark


Our first contact with land was from Martinique this morning, a mayday relay from Phare de France in Martinique where a swimmer was missing. Description: Blue shorts and dreadlocks.


St. Lucia in sight, we expected a big welcome on arrival, the sound of steel drum music on the radio as the island appeared, the smell of land, vegetation and fruit, half naked Caribbean ladies dancing and serving rum on the pontoon as we dock.


Much to our surprise, our first tangible St. Lucian welcome is Irish! “Welcome to Digicell”. We immediately drop speed and approach with great caution, for if the rum serving, flower clad dancer on the pontoon is Denis O’Brien…“Ready about” Cerys and out of there like a chocolate whippet.


As I finished my watch, what I realise that what I originally thought was a cruise ship in the distance is St Lucia Island. With the binoculars I can make out the individual lights, and the island of Martinique is lighting up to the north of us. Pigeon Island now in sight, the finish line is just south west of it, another boat is coming up astern but as we harden up coming closer to Pigeon we know we will beat them to it. Well healed over now ,the finish line committee on the radio, and we have spotted the yacht flying the orange banner. It is just dawn and perfect timing as we luff up last minute to the line and cross at 0625.01. We are the 129th boat across the line.


Motoring into J Dock we are greeted by cheers and claps from a Norwegan crew, it sounds a bit over the top to us and we soon realise why as two of them fall off the pontoon.... they are totally pissed. Bottles of Scotch in hand they can literally not stand. Its 0630.


We tie up stern on and there is a large Digicell office 150 m behind us, welcomed with music, a fruit basket, rum punch and a bag full of digicell, we are delighted, no Dancing Denis.


On our voyage we have encountered seas of 5-6 metres and winds of Force 10. We have covered 2850 miles sailed for 501.5 hours. We have consumed 600 litres of water, 750 baby wipes, we still have eight full auxiliary diesel tanks and 75% of our main tank. We have eaten two boxes of tomatoes, one of melons, two kilos of pasta and a mountain of chocolate. We have read nineteen books and twenty two magazines (we have looked at the pictures in a further three). No razors have been used.

We have baked 25 loaves of bread, used two cylinders of gas and eaten all the cornflakes. Had no showers. We are now waiting for the measles to break out and we cannot find the captains auld dog.


Its a great feeling to be here and as I walk up to check in with ARC, Customs and then Immigration I am very proud for us all. In customs I am referred to as Captain which makes a refreshing change from what the crew have been calling me.. The Island is moving, I want my money back, my kneecaps have two horizontal pains like eyebrows over the tops.That finished its 11am local time and a good time for a beer.


Slainte and thanks Ursula, Jeanot and Tom. We have arrived safely and with as much sanity as when we left.


That was the Ocean!