Position at 1100 (1500 UT) on 10/12/11
We crossed the finishing line at 1034 yesterday morning (1434 UT). A very happy bunch we were. As promised there was a little man with a steel drum playing us into our berth, as well as a very welcome rum punch with lots of ice. It was the first of quite a few yesterday… And Fiona was there to greet us too, with the requested coffee.
On the way round the top of the island we came within hailing distance of “Happy Cat”, a New Zealand Lagoon 421 that we made friends with in Las Palmas. We had left within 30 mins of each other 20 days and 3,000 miles earlier, and arrived within 30 mins of each other. We both slowed down to take pictures of each other, and we’ll exchange them soon.
It’s been a really fantastic experience. Spectacular sunsets and dawns, dolphins and fish, swimming in 5,000m of water, the cycle of watches each day, good winds for most of the journey, and only a few minor technical problems with the boat.
But best of all has been the people. Larry has been a tower of strength, using his sailing (and fishing) experience to great effect, and cooking excellent meals too. Pete has fitted in so well, considering we didn’t know each other before the trip. Tirelessly helpful and enthusiastic, fun, interesting, and king bread maker. A new friend who will be welcome back any time. Last but by no means least my son Will. To have crossed the Atlantic with your son or daughter is a special thing, something that doesn’t happen to most people and I’m so glad he came. He stood his watches, in charge of the boat, in equal measure with all of us, night and day, and I’m looking forward to seeing some of the hundreds of photos he has taken.
There are still lots of boats to come in, and there’s a party atmosphere here as you can imagine. The marina has a small “ARC village” of stalls and bars, as well as the normal restaurants. Its hot, hot, hot. Almost no wind, let’s hope that returns soon.
So we will be here for about a week, probably staying for the final ARC party on the 17th, then we are off up to Antigua where I have a berth booked in Nelsons Dockyard for Christmas. Its “only” 4 islands to hop, about 150 nm, so a mere days cruise for us long distance sailors…
I will try and post some of the photos we have in the coming few days. But now must get back to cleaning the boat and drinking a few more celebratory rum punches – now which order to do them in?