The last lap
Terry/ Nicola Flinn
Thu 19 Jul 2007 01:58
50:47.62N 01:06.84W Gosport
After 2 pleasant days in Falmouth, it was time to continue on towards home. We decided to leave about 4pm on Tuesday 6th June, planning on an overnight passage to Weymouth. The F4 winds steadily increased throughout the night to F6/7, but fortunately they were right behind us. With the genoa poled out and a large following swell, it was reminiscent of being back on the ARC. We were travelling so quickly, that we arrived off Portland much too early to make the tidal gate around the Bill and up into Weymouth, so we elected to continue towards Lymington, just inside the Solent.
It was during Nicola's watch that we suffered the only serious breakage of the whole trip when the wind generator fell down narrowly missing her. The supporting strut, which was bolted to the back stay, suffered metal fatigue and everything toppled forward.
We arrived in Lymington at 6.30pm, and Tony, our stalwart crewmember, took advantage of the excellent train connections and made his way home to Camberley. We had worked well as a team, especially in the extreme weather conditions and we are grateful to Tony whose eternal optimism and cheery disposition made the Atlantic crossing much easier for us.
Friends and family planned to welcome us home on Friday morning, but we were now a day ahead of schedule. We took the opportunity to prepare the boat for the final leg into Gosport and dressed Flinesse overall with the ensigns of the countries that we had visited during our trip. Of course, the weather deteriorated with lots of rain and increasingly strong winds planned for Friday, but, during a forecast lull in the wet and windy conditions, we made break for it and arrived off Gilkicker Point at noon. We were greeted by a welcoming committee of Bob and Marilyn Hodgson, Helen, Jenny and Andy, complete with balloons, a banner and air horns. We both felt very emotional as we sailed as close to the shore, revelling in the welcome.
We have sailed 16100 miles during the 14 months we have been away.and visited 19 countries as well as 62 other islands .
Our adventure is now over and we have now achieved our long held dream of completing a circuit of the Atlantic and Caribbean in our own boat.