20-12-07 Ships log Apre Arrival.

Rebel T
Tim Walsh
Fri 21 Dec 2007 19:04

So as you know we arrived on the afternoon of the 14th, (Friday 15.43hrs).
You will recall that I posted a blog immediately before we arrived , knowing
that arrivals are chaotic blah blah.
Well, we sailed in at an angle from the NE with genoa up across the
acceleration zone at the North of the island. Colette rang on the land
mobile to say she could see us!!That kind of brought it into focus that we
were arriving.
It was strange to think that we had all been onboard for 19 days. Most of
the crew were glad to be arriving and I am to be counted among them, Trevor
said he was sad it was coming to an end. As we approached , there was an
amount of pilotage to undertake, we had to position ourselves upwind at the
correct angle in order that we would not have to bear off to port too far,
to do so would put us beam on to the seas as they rolled up into shallowing
water. so we picked our angle and proceeded, as we got close enough to see
the coast clearly, we needed to decide which of the crinkles was Rodney Bay.
The Northern tip of St Lucia is in fact quiet wiggly and qithout a GPS would
be a bit awkward....you know the situation. You are sailing at 8knts on a
broad reach waiting for bays to "Open" so that you can see up the inlet to
ID it as right or wrong, but if you leave it too long then you all but miss
it and end up beam reaching in...anyway Ant was up front, (that is because
it is nearest to the land and getting off!) and signalled that yachts were
to be seen. I angled us in as sharp as was safe to arrive a 100yds or so
off the cliff and to stay on a down wind slant. As we neared so we saw the
finish line. ARC want you to finish under sail......and we did , but I had
the starb'd engine on 1,500revs, running the watermaker and just keeping the
bow ontrack.
I have to say that to stop, go head to wind to hoist the main for a 100yd
dash was simply a "No-No" so we fnished, "charging" with engines but under
Genoa, the tight angle just allowing us to manage it.

Jeff said to us before we left Las palmas that he had a friend that owned a
sailing ship called Pelican and that it might be in Rodney Bay about the
time we were expected to arrive......You guessed it, the first boat we
sailed passed just before the finish line was Pelican. A serious 100ft or so
square rigger. A pic is included.

As we finishe we were given a berth number for the marina. Once inside it
took 20 mins or so before the berth was clear, all this time CatmanDo,
Colette, Radka and Andrew off Gertha were on the jetty screaming and
shouting. Eventually we tied up had big hugs and a few tears, A lovely St
Lucian lady presented us with a basket of fruit, rum and hot chili sauce and
there we were.....There, well here actually.

It took a good few minutes to accept that we had arrived, really arrived,
that a years planning and all the , "4ons" and "4offs" were over.
Anthony was first off complete with packed bag, Mike was next. I just wanted
to sit awhile and be quiet, to think to all over, to collect my thoughts.

I took 5 minutes out and just tried to fix the moment in time for the
future. I decided that all in all the crossing had been a success, I was an
OK skipper.
Some one shouted a toast to "Tim" I shouted back that the toast was to be to
the whole crew. I swigged my rum punch like a rough and tough Ocean crossing
Skipper type and felt immediatley giddy. Colette led me to the taxi and we
went to the hotel.
We had agreed that the trip was now over till Monday morning, that nothing
would be done on the boat and that skipper may or may not be seen for the
next few days.

We got to the hotel, I think I had a bath but i can't fully remember. I
slept for 48hrs solid. On the Monday I woke up but was shattered all day.
about 11am we went to the Marina, as we went passed one of the many bars, we
saw Jeff having a coke. we joined him....I never got to the boat!! about 6pm
we went back to the hotel and I slept through till next morning!. Next day
being Tuesday, I made it to the boat about 12 o'clock, we decided on a plan
of action regarding cleaning he boat etc. Anthony ckecked the engines and
changed the startermotor on the starb'd engine, adjusted the fan belts and
declared the engines OK.
Jeff cleaned up the galley area and threw away all the accumulated rubbish.
Mike fitted the second sun awning and i went back to the hotel and slept
The rest of the crew were not affected by such tiredness. I think it is
partially being skipper and partially being me. Once the adrenalin was gone
just a limp lettuce was left!!

Today is Thursday and I was up at a reasonable time and have felt sort of OK
today, but still I reckon to be in bed before long!! There have been a
number of great parties on the pontoons, but i have missed them all, the
crew having represented the boat whole heartedly.

The Taxi drivers here are real characters and offer their services to us
yachties. We have taken to one guy called "Daisy" who has a beautiful Toyota
Prado, washed everyday!! so he drove us around the shops and island this
afternoon, that was the first tourist thing I have done so far.

There is a real feel about the place, a real Caribean mood. There is the
"Fruitman" he has a small launch and sells fruit. ( Pic included) There is
"Mr Sparkle" The laundry man, (pic included) and countless others. Every
body is very friendly, not pushy but keen to "ply their wares" I do indeed
love the whole atmosphere as does the crew.
Trevor, Mike and others have been of doing their own thing over the last
days, but we are begining to focus on the fact that we are to leave on
Saturday, the plan is Bequia then Grenada, so today we shopped. I got a call
from a friend who bemaoned the lack of blogs ....so Here Jeff and Colette
and me are at a bar doing "Blogging"

I will try to stick back to the discipline and blog daiy. There are some
great photos so the next few pinacoladas will be drunk, ( Drinked?) while I
sort them out and post them to you.

Thanks for waiting, I make no apologies for being exhausted, Darling it's
hell out there!!

With Love Tim XX