We DID IT!!!
Dave & Becky Werrett
Mon 15 Dec 2008 11:28
Position - 14.04N, 60.57W
WE DID IT!!!!! - It took 20 days, 8 hours and 8 mins - but we did it! And out of 225 boats - we came a respectable 118th!
We crossed the finish line at 21.08 on the evening of Sat 13th - it was an amazing experience, we saw land about 4 hours before that and for me it was a very emotional moment, I cried and Thanked God that He got us all here safely. On arrival into the marina, Karel from Bombardino was waiting on the dock with the ARC team, a small steel band was there playing and Marg was there! She had booked it as a surprise when she booked Sam's flights in september but hadn't told anyone including me(!) that she was going to be there - unfortunately, she had been in St Lucia on her own for a week waiting for us - the crossing this year took so much longer than everyone anticipated given the lack of wind! So we arrived on sat night and then she,Dave and Sam had to fly home yesterday (sunday) afternoon! It was such a shame that they didn't get chance to relax and just enjoy being here.
Anyway - Marg had a champagne bucket full of ice, beer and a bottle of Fizz, the welcoming party also gave us all rum punches with ice and a large basket of fruit, and people were clapping and hugging us, then to top it all - we looked up and a large Cat was gliding past the end of our boat - WINDANCER IV, our hero's!!!! Everyone was yelling and sounding fog horns - it was tuly a very special moment and we hugged them again and again - without them - I,m not sure we would have made it! We weren't entirley forthcoming with some of our Blog's mainly because we didn't want to worry family at home who were already a nervous wreck, but we didn't just lose the generator midway - we lost the engine! The starter motor fell off - and the bolt that Windancer gave us mid ocean was the only thing that held it on long enough for us to generate enough power to keep running the autohelm and nav equipement, and also to let us use the engine should we need it in a an emergency situation - like you need to get out of the way of a weather system, or have poiwer to drive the winches when the squalls hit and we needed to change sails quickly. I will post a write up on the blog later today that Dave wrote after the event - it gives a fairly factual (as you might expect) account of what happened. The only other thing I'll say here - is that 8 days into the trip - Windancer tore their mainsail, 4 feet from the top of the mast, the bolt they gave us was the bolt that was holding their sail onto the mast! If they hadn't torn their sail - they couldn't have helped us. Funny how things work out!
Anyway - as you might imagine we all got extremely drunk - so drunk that we were not conscious when Sophistikate arrived at 3am that moring - I think they have now forgiven us for not being there to also welcome them in.
The last 24 hrs have passed in a haze, part alcohol induced, part complete exhaustion and part just manic activity. We have been moved by the dock master 4 times! As they couldn't find us a pontoon that had 220V electric and as our gnerator is still kaput - we desperatley needed power - but I now have fridge & freezer back up and running and I am shortly off to buy ice!!!!! I am still waiting for customs and the official Vet to clear Molly - so the poor dog has not been allowed to land yet. I handed over 4 tons of dirty laundry to Sparkle the laundry man who arrived alongside ChilliOyster in his little wooden boat - no money or receipts changed hands - I am assuming it will all be returned at some point - that is the caribbean way! Jordan disappeared at 6am on sunday monring as his girlfriend (a Belgian Girl on a boat called Crazy Maybe) arrived - I haven't seen him since! And some degree of order is now being returned to our salty, greasy boat. My first shower after 2 weeks - was close to being an orgasmic experience and washing up in hot soapy water is an absolute joy!
I will write more when my head has stopped spinning - we just plan to relax and enjoy this week, there are just as many parties this side as there were in Las Palmas - and everyone wants to talk and share stories, the tale of our rescue seems to have got round and we are being interviewed by yachting world later today!
Will keep you posted - much love to everyone, especially to all thse who sent emails of encourgament etc It was always so good to hear from home.
We'll be back in the UK this time next week.
Loads of Love
The Chilli Crew
(We crossed the atlantic you know....)