20 th Dec 2006. Its all over now.

Wed 20 Dec 2006 17:42
At 15.50 hours UT, 11.50 hours St Lucia time, we crossed the finishing line, a blast from the committee boat (poor folk, we were only the second boat to come in today), and after an hour or so we came into the marina to be met by an amazing reception: nearly all our 'friends' seemed to know of our arrival, and it was a remarkable and quite emotional experience. We managed to berth without hitting the dock, just, and were presented with a basket of fruit and rum punches, just as Vicky said would happen, but I really didn't think that anyone would have waited aoiund for us tail enders. We are sening this off straight away, before braving customs, etc.
We had an interesting days sail yesterday with changing wind conditions, and a heavy downpour this morning. I was worried that we might have to motor the last 24 hours, but we arrived in (some) style, and with all our sails set as we finished: an official photographer was on hand!! I am looking foreward to seeing my family this evening, Geoff has to wait a little longer, so plans to take out his frstration on a mountain tomorrow
Thanks to all of you who have kept up with our great adventure, we really did enjoy ourselves, and we wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year. Richard
Geoff adds; thought the alternative song title might have been 'Congratulations & Celebrations' but that would a) have shown my age and b) would have been blowing our own foghorn.  Can't believe everything has stopped moving yet, the boat seems dead now, all the electrics and motor switched off.  Total distance 3008 miles which wasn't to far off the official distance via the southern route - i.e. most of that was 'distance-made-good'
The wettest day so far, had oilies on and it was more like the English Channel than the Windies.  I had thought we might have had a quiet arrival and just tied up and tidied up at our own pace, so didn't really expect such a welcome.  The official boat blew their horn, photos taken, congrats on the radio and then as we drew along the pontoon, several boats and spectators were there blowing foghorns and shouting for us.  Almost like wiining the F1 Gran Prix anyway.  So we have had one shot of rum punch from the ARC reception committee and are halfway through a cup of tea now, need to go to clear arrivals and get sorted out as Conny & Hannah are due later this evening.  I'm planning on a walk up through one of the national parks and then I have to get to the airport.  Looking forward to seeing you all, with a few phots.  Promise not to be too booring!