Day 17 Position 14:04.64N 60:56.90W we have arrived in St Lucia !
Fri 13 Dec 2019 17:22
Dinner was cooked by Tim, a lovely prawn Thai coconut curry. During dinner we reflected on our epic journey. We have now sailed over 3000 miles together and our tight little team has gelled really well. Its kind of sad that by tomorrow we shall be there. Living on board has been a real pleasure and we are getting used to the routines, we were staring to feel quite emotional!
Though the early morning we were again assaulted by fast moving omelets. Lashing rain battered Peter and Simon during the 04.00 hrs watch.
As dawn arrived were racing along at record speeds under green spinnaker and full main. We were counting down the miles, 50 ( that's a sail to St Malo ) 25 ( that's Jersey trip ). Then we saw Martinique though to the north west. By 10 am we were seeing the tropical forest peaks of St Lucia. As we whizzed down the surf Simon recorded a new record of 16.6 knots ( Gold medal position ). David was on the helm as we rounded the northern tip of St Lucia. The press boat raced through the surf to meet us and took shots of us surfing under full spinnaker at 14-16 knots. The best sailing of the trip.
We rounded up into the bay. Peter on the helm , all crew showered, and in fresh Gwenhyfar uniforms. We crossed the line 150 metres behind Paloma who we had caught up during our final dash, but unfortunately we came up just short of her. Race control confirmed our finish as:
8th from Racing A Division; 17th all race boats; and overall 50th finisher in a fleet of over 260 boats.
We were happy with that. Our race was good on day 1 then went very soft during days 2-5. our iridium was unreliable and we fell into a series of wind holes. For several hours we were stationary. The middle sections were quite fast. In these light winds our red kite pushed us along at a very respectable speed. The last 1400 miles were very windy with tricky seas but we sailed fast, making several 200 mile days. our last day was a record 223 miles! We sailed 3166 miles and finished at 12.15 hrs on 11th December.
Rum punches - fruit bowls and the yellow shirts of the ARC team met us on the dockside. A series of telephone calls to family - then some more rum punches! A St Lucian style welcome.
Thank you for reading our blog and following Gwenhyfar's travels. Thank you One Sails for providing Gwenhyfar with a great wardrobe of sails. A sincere thank you to the Spirit Yard in Suffolk who have built a truly beautiful vessel. Gwenhyfar is a perfect combination of function and form. Everywhere we go people comment on her sleek lines and good looks. She is very seaworthy and all the deck gear worked well. These splendid craftsmen and women are building superb wooden yachts in Suffolk.
Thank you to Colin in Guernsey, who sent over 33 emails containing weather and routing information. His analysis and commentary was very valuable to us.
A special big thank you to all of our family who have supported us on this epic sailing adventure. We recognise that it has interrupted normal life patterns and we all fully appreciate the support we have had.
Finally the crew have been great. The right combination of banter, work, and a shared objective has built a united team. We have all enjoyed an epic and unforgettable experience.
Days run 223 miles
Until the next adventure!