Round the Island Race...island four

Mon 24 Feb 2014 15:28
We are now back opposite Jambe de Bois on Pigeon Island "14.05.44N 60.57.82W", we have for the record now been living "rent free" for the longest single period. It is 24 days since we last paid for a night somewhere
The Race.....
We set off at 8am Saturday morning to start the round St Lucia race along with six other yachts. On board we had Ian and Helen from Callima and Paul from Aila. The start was good, if rather scary as it was among the anchored boats and at best only 50 metres from the beach!
We set off North and rounded the top of the island to beat out into the Atlantic. We opted for a long first tack as we were flying our genoa which requires furling to tack. The two J class boats went in close and the rest were inshore of us, but out wide with us was a lovey old wooden boat, she tacked first and we passed in front of her and prepared to tack as she passed under our stern...... I gave a final glance back to check we we're well clear and realised she on longer had a mast.
We furled and turned back to check she was OK, she said she was but the crew didn't all look too convinced about that!! We went back to our race and tried to raise somebody on the VHF without success. At which point we decided to turn back to Good Expectation and standby as she sailed out of the two metre swell and 25 knot winds into the protection of the island. Once she was safe we had a conference on board and decided that having lost at least an hour and a half to the rest of the fleet we would head to the stopover down the west coast. Half an hour later we were raised again on the VHF by another yacht that had retired and wanted a couple of crew taken down to the stop over party.
The stop over down in Laborie was fantastic though I wouldn't have gone in if we were by ourselves, the reefs were very close. Fortunately the Police boat was on hand to guide us in.
There was a nice little gathering of the yachts that had made it!
Then on Sunday with hangovers we raced back up to Rodney Bay. Having not completed the course we were classified as DNF but at the Prize giving we were called up to receive an envelope....."Life Saver Award......Star. Charger" inside was a note saying "Have a round on us!"
How cool is that!
We really are intending to head to Martinique this week, in time for Mardi Gras the week after.
I trust all is well with you
Alasdair, Gill, Habitat, Pickles and Star Charger

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