Well we have arrived and I'm glad to say in some style.
Having been able to jury rig the big Purple chute out to Starboard we were
restricted by this handicap in the final 24 hours and as feared lost ground
over our nearest competitors. However we were determined to fly the chute at
least into the entrance to Rodney Bay in full view of the watching WAGS. As
we rounded Pigeon island we hardened up and were racing along at over 9
knots but to hit the finish line we had to drop the chute quickly (great job
team) and set the Yankee (the big headsail). We flew over the line close
reaching at over 9.5knots and then had to do a quick handbrake turn in order
not to run into the many yachts at anchor. I'm told that the photographers
got some great shots of us in the final run in and if I can get hold of them
I will post them on the blog. We were then surprised to see that the girls
had hired a boat boy to bring them out to meet us and it was a big thrill
for us all to see them after so long apart.
For me the rest was then just a whirl, Trish blowing kisses and trying to
talk to me, the marina dock master trying to give me entrance and berthing
instructions, posing for official finish line crew photos and trying to give
instructions to my distracted crew about setting fenders and mooring lines.
After 19 days of relative solitude and time to stop and stare it was a big
shock to the system and 8 hours later I am still trying to attune to the
The welcome was fantastic, with many locals lining the marina entrance to
cheer us in, other crews clapping and cheering us as we sailed into our
berth and a great welcoming party from the St Lucia tourist board and marina
How did we finish?
Our ARC number was 60 and we came in 60th over the line, 6 seconds behind
Juju a J133. A smaller boat sailed by a husband and wife team double handed.
Hats off to them!!!!
We completed the distance in 19 days 1 hour and 32 minutes and finished 4th
in our class over the line.
As expected our cruising chute limitations cost us dearly and 6 other boats
finished within 1 1/2 hours ahead of us.
It is clear that many yachts motored through the wind lulls and it will be
interesting to see how we finished when engine hours and also ratings are
applied. But hey, we were never racing were we??????????????!!!!!
Now it is time to relax, party a little and make the most of the remaining
time with Chris and Roberta, Adrian and Helen, and Glen and Heather before
they fly home. As for Trish and I, well we are blessed to be able to stay in
these islands for at least the next 7 months before we must leave to avoid
the hurricane season. We have Xmas and New Year to look forward to with our
kids and their spouses, friends flying in to share time with us as we cruise
north through the island chain and then..................? Who knows? maybe
time to fulfil the next ambition!
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