Lilli Mae - On the way home - Leg 5 - Caribbean Cruise - 29th December 19

Lilli Mae
Sun 29 Dec 2019 05:02
Hi Everyone,
Well that's it; we have made it to Nanny Cay, British Virgin Islands and this marks the end of this phase of Lilli Mae's journey.
We left Christophe Harbour at about 1300 local time. We did have some nice winds at the beginning of the 120 mile trip NW but the wind (as forecast) died away and we ended up motor-sailing a lot of the way. We had planned the trip to take about 20 hours but we arrived in the BVI area at about 1100 local time. We had a some fun and games with squalls and torrential rain on the journey; in fact in the middle of the night and within the space of 5 minutes the light wind from the south changed to a 20 knot wind from the north and from there on the wind came from the north so a lot of the journey was up wind close hauled or at best close reach.
We made our way to Nanny Cay ready to park only to be told that we could not come in until we cleared customs and that we had to do this at the government building in Road Town. You can see from the map showing our track we did not need to motor very far. The challenges started after we finally found a parking spot on a mooring buoy; we had to get from the boat to the customs office. We radioed a few marinas to see if we could get a water taxi to take us but were told that we had to use our own transport to get to the dock. Mike and I left the boat in our dinghy at about 4 PM (in daylight) but got back to the boat in total darkness at 8 PM. Mike did all the work with the customs officials but did not get free from them for three and a half hours. In the end we got what was needed but the trip back to the boat was in complete darkness and without lights in a harbour with ferries and fast boats moving around all the time. In the end when we finally got back to Lilli Mae we decided to just stay put for the night (on the mooring buoy) in Road Town Harbour and make our way back to Nanny Cay in the morning. We had pot noodle and Christmas pudding and brandy cream for dinner.
Nanny Cay to Road Town
Mike and Howard set off on the customs trek!
Lilli Mae "dangling" on mooring buoy
Another drone selfie
Lilli Mae's journey home so far
Just before leaving Road Town we flew the drone and took some snaps and shouted across to an Oyster yacht iSNL that had crossed the Atlantic with us in the ARC. They were anchored a few metres from us and when we went past they said they had just arrived from Antigua.
Anyway we got parked in Nanny Cay and spent the rest of this afternoon cleaning Lilli Mae in preparation for her 3 month stay in the BVI.
So, that's it. We are done for now and will start of journey home tomorrow (Sunday 29th). We fly from BVI to Dominica and then on to St Lucia and then on 30th (Monday) we fly to Gatwick. I think we are all looking forward to getting home now this adventure has come to its end.
So now what are the stats for this trip?
Day since we left home - 43
No of miles sailed since departing Las Palmas - 3,340
No of miles sailed since departing Southampton - 5,211
Needless to say all 3 of us are delighted with what our adventure has taught and where it has taken us. Although we have not talked about the ARC results we are happy we finished 72 from 122 boats and even happier with the fact that Lilli Mae was one of about 30 boats in the rally that did not use their engine during the Atlantic crossing. Interestingly iSNL (an Oyster 825) we met in Road Town today finished in 119th place and motored for 127 hours during the Atlantic crossing!
We are signing off now from Lilli Mae's journey home. We will restart the blog around Saturday 14th March 2020. Our plan is to set sail from Nanny Cay, BVI on 16th March 2020 to Port Antonio, Jamaica and then on to Mo'Bay.
For Lilli Mae, 2020 is very much the arrival in Mo'Bay; less than 760 miles to go!
But until then the crew aboard Lilli Mae hope that when it comes 2020 is all you wish for. Happy New Year.