ARC 2009-Now in Rodney Bay, St Lucia

Dick and Irene Craig
Thu 10 Dec 2009 19:05

Apparently we did see some tropic birds about five days before reaching our destination and subsequently two frigate birds although as the author of the blog, I hadn’t been aware that this had been the case, until we were only around three miles from Rodney bay.

It seems quite amazing that we are here and we are all thrilled to have completed the passage safely. Horror stories abound in the bars as people from other boats relate their awesome experiences, from blown out sails, to spinnakers around the keel, cracked cross-trees to broken main stays and forestays and booms. It seems that Girlsforsail had no power from the second day out and others had broken rudders. One boat had to have a person taken off, for medical reasons. By coincidence, the same boat had a similar situation last year. As more boats arrive, the list will increase.

We ate supper just before 7pm last night so that it was all cleared away before we reached our five mile waypoint.

Just as we were making our approach a monohull cut us up. It was most probably a mistake on their part and not deliberate but although it was our right of way we took avoidance action.

We crossed the finishing line at 20.54&32 seconds, local time, 17.5 days from our departure on the 22nd November, from Las Palmas.

We were directed to our berth where some guys from the ARC office took our lines and a local chap with a barrow gave us rum punch and another gave us a basket of fruit and some local sauces and spices plus a bag full of maps and brochures and advertising literature. There was even a large plastic poncho with hood and a magnum of beer.

There was a wonderful breeze blowing.

Once the boat was secure, Austin and Chris went off partying, while Dick and I chilled out on board. A number of people to whom we had chatted while on passage, dropped by to say hello and it was nearly 2am before we got to bed.

In the morning, as the rain fell, we rushed to close the hatches then after breakfast, Dick went to check us all formally into St. Lucia and arrange for water and electricity to be connected to the boat.

A local guy in a small boat which was full of fruit and decorated with many flags, came close to the pontoon and I rushed out and bought a selection of fruit and the largest avocado that I have ever seen. I have to say that I was truly ripped off but it was great fun at the time. See photos "Fruit and flags" and "Biggest avocado ever".

At 9am, 149 boats had already arrived with 20 more expected today. I don’t know at this time what our weighted position of arrival will be. No doubt all these figures will be forthcoming in due course.

Austin and Chris washed the boat before it was dressed all over.

There is a problem connecting to the 110v electricity supply which looks as if it might be a wiring problem. Poor old Dick will have to get that sorted before he is permitted to relax.

Tonight we will go on a Heineken “pub” crawl with our crew and then meet up with the people, with whom we had been chatting on the crossing, from three other boats for dinner. After that Austin and Chris will go off to party the night away, while we return to our boat, watch a film and then retire for the night.


Below:- next to the basket of fruit is the biggest avocado I have ever seen