Crossed the finish line : 14.04N 60.57W

Elixir - Ovni
Richard Merrick
Sat 12 Dec 2009 12:29
That's it, the finish line has been crossed (just) and Elixir is now sat resting in Rodney Bay, St Lucia. The last stretch was excellent sailing, as we rounded the Northern side of the island the wind built and our downwind sails were really powered up and with another boat within reach we were trying our best to squeeze more speed out of the hull. We turned round the island to sail south down the east coast and for the first time in three weeks we were sailing upwind. It was great, we had high 20 knots over the decks and the warm wind was in our faces. Sadly it became clear that the distance between us and our competitor was just too great but we continued sailing hard until the last moment.
Wrongly, we agreed the instructions were to keep the finish line boat to our Port (left) side, but on our approach it became clear this was incorrect. So with strong winds on our nose we tried to point as far to Port as we could but we were getting blown towards the committee boat. Without ploughing straight into the first boat we came accross in nearly 3 weeks we had no choice but to tack around and try it again. Then we finished triumphantly.
We were now in Rodney bay and despite instructions from the World Cruising Club to proceed to the marina for our welcome committee and rum punches we decided to anchor in Rodney bay and go for a much anticipated swim. It was disorientating to see Elixir from the outside but a really great feeling to have made it and be offboard.
Since we arrived we have been extremely busy settling in, with restaurants to explorer, Carribean street festivals to enjoy and friends from other boats to meet. The St Lucian locals are very friendly and have made us all feel very welcome.
We found out that most boats had various issues some more serious than others and that Elixir's performance was superb without any real problems which we are eternally grateful for.
It has been an amazing trip and one which we will never forget but one which is not finished for Elixir. After taking us around St Lucian anchorages and other neighbouroing islands, she will stay in the Carribean for a year after which she will make her way up the east coast of America and then on to the Mediteranian some 5000 miles from here.
Elixir looked after us well.