Weve only gone and done it

Wed 12 Dec 2018 20:22

So you sail 2117 miles, thrash your boat to bits and you cross the official finish line what happens? Precisely not a lot, but the very nice man on the ARC committee boat does ask you to go around again as the photographers had a busy night and isn’t quite there yet. So we put our first tack in 15 days in which completely took the crew by  surprise they hadn’t realised the sails could still move. So as we faffed about trying to remember which rope goes where when we saw what we thought was the photographer arriving but as it got closer we realised it was our own unofficial shore crew coming to greet us the party consisting of friends and wives on their  mission to deliver the chilled champagne and beers it was a very emotional and unexpected pleasure. There was a peculiar noise coming from their boat which we were reliably informed was a rendition of “Its all too beautiful” being played on Kazzoos. I think the rastafarian water taxi driver may have been able to sell us something that would have rendered it tuneful however I should not be ungracious it was a top effort boys and girls. The arrival of alcohol on board had the desired effect of reducing Itchycoo Park back to her default state of wallowing along at 2.5 knots and sailing in circles whilst the crew try and work out whether drinking the spare diesel would be a good idea as a quick sharpner before docking. We would love to thank the Arc finishing line guys who welcomed Itchycoo Park to her spiritual home. When radioing in that we were approaching the finishing line we were in formed where to go but the follow up was “keep going straight for a while as we aren’t exactly sure where the finish is”  Yeah man that the sort of the thing we fully understand on Itchycoo Park. The photographer arrived and Handsome Dan was made up as he got his chest out for a few more poses  begore going back below for a quick siesta before we docked – well it was 6.50 in the morning and he had been up 10 minutes.

On landing we were presented with a rum punch from the Arc Guys and the St lucian Tourist Board along with a bowl of fruit which the Vegetable turner promptly took below to introduce to his remaining little friends. Somehow more and more people seemed to be arriving dockside with more and more champagne the crew were certainly enjoying the first few feet of St Lucia!!  So many congratulatory messages received from so many people it was just an incredible high and if I haven’t acknowledged you yet please give me time we had no idea there was such interest in a bunch of blokes having a good time!! So what do you when you arrive In StLucia already pissed and  emotionally high – well you go en masse to a dockside bar for breakfast and more drinks by now the party having been joined by Dans mum and step dad – Dan by now really happy that not only has he got his chest out he now has social media and can talk to nice people not the cranky old gits he has just spent the last month with!!!- and also Mrs Vegetable turner. To say it was a good session can be summed up in that we didn’t bother paying the breakfast bar bill we just added it on the lunchtime tab before moving onto a party organised by the shore team led by Big Bob and Paul Smith back at their villa. The last few days have been a bit of a blur but mostly the crew have now sobered up just long enough to start the next session. Tonight is prize giving/closing party and the official end of a great adventure.

I hesitate know to say thanks to the numerous people who have helped this great journey come about and I apologise now if I have missed any out. So in no particular order:


Brian Collison, Ray Rastall and Mark Pullen as suppliers of shore based arrivals champagne and beers

The Arc team – just great service especially Clare the lady is a legend

Terry White – Itchycoo Parks Plymouth Marine Engineer whos best advice was “Don’t even think about not going she will never be 100% what you want, just go. Youve got sails everything else is just extras”

The shore based crew in the UK Kenny Wingrave thanks for the inspiration, weather reports and advice along along the way – 2020 is going to happen

The ST lucian shore crew Bob, Paul, Gill, Andrea, Lynn, Helen – the finish line greet was quite something

The Original Itchycoo Parkers – Richard, Ian, The Murtagh Boys, Eamonn, Christian – don’t hang about get out here soon its just a bit nicer than a night in the Anchor at Cowes

The Aquatint staff who (hopefully) have been covering me whilst I have been away

“The Crew” Kevin, Paul,  Ross and Dan at times it was “interesting” at times it was emotional but hey “Weve only gone and bloody done it”

And finally two very special people without whom NONE of this would have happened

My great friend and benefactor Paul Atherton the original Itchycoo Parker and whos generosity with the boat has made a dream happen

And finally finally finally my wife Ann who has never actually asked me how much this has all cost but who has given her own time and allowed me the time to chase and achieve my dream


Thanks to you guys for reading this garbage and to my fellow Arc+ crews – it was a blast wasn’t it!



Its all too beautiful


Oh hang on the Vegetable Turner/Bilge Bitch has just got his head out of the bilge (the pump stills not working) where he was showing a particularly interesting artichoke what his other job was and has reminded me he has a load of Videos he has made  which the crew have collectively named the Not that bloody song Again Collection but they are quite good so I will post the links tomorrow