Final Day on the Water
Tue 23 May 2006 18:25
approximately midday local time on 21 May that we rowed acroos the 'finish
line' and into the Caribbean immediately within sight of Antigua. A bottle
of champagne was on hand for a private celebration as we continiued to row
on determined to finish by making it into English Harbour under our own
Not long after Liz and Pat were in attendance in the Antiguan ABSAR
(Coastguard) RIB in the company of Jonathan Cornelius who had been so
supportive of our efforts over the last few weeks.
We rowed on for another 6/7 hours in the shadow of the towering cliffs on
the souhthern Antiguan coastline. Evntually the opening to English
Harbouir was upon us and we made our entry to the harbour in the company
of an assortment of rowing tenders, little outboards and other well
wishers. Our fame if that is the word had grown in Antigua over the last
weeks what with the dramas associated with food drops and shark attacks.
So there was a large crowd of locals and tourist to give us an incredible
welcome as we made landfall at the jetty immediately in front of historic
buildimgs of Nelsons Dockyard. What it is to be aminor celebrity. Every
dog has his day, so I guess this was ours.
The welcoming party surrounded us as we jumped up onto the jetty only to
find the jetty bucking and rolling trying to throw us back into the sea. I
was totally unconvinced and this wasn't some big joke. I can assure that
this jetty was rock solid!!. So that's what 112 days at sea does for you.
After the excitement had subsided we drifted over to the local Galley Bar
for a famed rum punch. Really worth waiting for. But I'm afraid with all
these things it was all too much for me and I was totally done for for the
rest of the night. Sleeping for a total of 12 hours. Tim was made of
sterner stuff and lasted out the evening.
Two days later I am still finding my land legs and staggering around like
a drunken sole. That is what I am telling people anyway.
What an absolutely fantastic adventure it has been for us both. What next
Arriving at the harbour without any tow was such an important thing, which
had focussed our minds for such a long time. To realise this ambition was
incredible and being welcomed as described was immense. Things now will
get back to normal, work, friends, family .... yet things will be
different. Thanks to everybody who has helped make this a success, all
those who have sent messages, contributed to the charities, accessed the
blog, supported those at home or just "joined in". I cannot express the
value we put on opening our email account and reading what "the postman"
Back to work on Friday. Thanks.