All Good Things Come to an End

Fri 11 Dec 2009 05:19
Like life, this incredible journey has had to come to an end, although it was temptinng to just carry on sailing, the lure of the rum was too much and we eventually crossed the line at 11pm on Tuesday Dec 8th having sailed 3080 miles in 16 days and 12hrs_a  personel best, and a record for the boat. Its abit surreal sitting this marina on this beautiful Island and one has to pinch yourself that we're actually here, it's a time to reflect and chill out, it's hard to understand where all the time went ,the whole experience was over before it began_at sea the days melted into the nights and one felt that we had only been out there for a week. This had been an exceptional ARC with a constant ENE18/25 kts breeze sailing under a full moon at night, before the moon rise, we be would charging downwind at 9kts into pitch blackness, which was quite unnerving !Sailind under such a beatiful night sky, where the stars just standout at you, was very intoxicating , always raising the question ,as to why we are here and the meaning of life! _ our little vessel felt strangly vunerable out in the vaste ocean but we just surged west in some timeless bubble of suspension.
We had made a plan to go south as we realised that our only chance of beating our rivals was to take a "blinder", afterall they had given us such a poor rating , our only choice was to do somethihg different.Unfortunaltly our tactics did'nt pay off and we sailed  probably 400more mile than the rum line of 2600 miles_we had to give time to Oyster 65's and our arch rival's Swan, Akarana was set up for racing being afoot longer in the waterline, it was always ahard one to crack.We had challanged them for a case of rum, and I had underestimated thier determined approach to this race, for example, they were not allowed to fish and were recieving daily position and weather routing reports_the Grumpies Racing Team were no match but we did have time to "sniff the roses" catching and eating eight mouthwatering fish and watching the odd movie on the box ,_spiritually we were more in tune with ethos of the event and benefited from it.
The real thing going for the Grumpies was the high quality and excellance of the crew_we were a great team and sailed the entire race without a cross word, there was great brotherhood, and keen resolve to achieve. We  showed true metal by tackling our problems head on, using ingenuity to solve difficult problems, the broken alternator was replaced wthin ten minutes of it packing up and Richard (the Commodore) designed new spinnaker woolies by cutting up Jay Clothes , could be a new career move! The Commodore has always wanted to prove to his father that he is an achiever and I'm sure the old boy looked down upon his son with a great deal of prideHis only problem was being slightly deaf- I'm also weak in the hearing department and combination was not good-lots of "Sorry", Pardon , can you repeat that and ear bending_ the real trouble is that he knows what he is saying but talks incrediably softly, so nobody can hear him!.Our oil tycoon prospector is a very impressive yachtsman and has knack to getting a boat moving_,he was always there for the spinnaker hoists and is a natural on a boat. He can converse on a whole range of subjects and is a sensitive caring kind of chap_He was an excellant patient during his bowel blockage problem and resisted my advances with the rubber tube and funnel ;preferring to take the prescribed tablets!
"Tim" the  cabin boy, must have felt at times as if he was on tour with Dad's Army_he is the youngest member of the crew but probably the most mature and has multi Talents_a stunningly inventive chef , skilled engineer, prolific yachtsman always carrying out his duties  with a cheerful disposition. To the very end he excelled - diving under the boat in Rodney Bay to cut away the snagged ropes_you can't go to sea without having Tim in your bag_his mom must be very proud!
The presence of Vasco De Pajamas (Spriggsy) gives the element of authority in the crew, originating from the "where the fuck are we tribe" he has sailed the atlantic nine times including a circumnavigation-he is a skilled navigator , great orator and  has a fabulous dry sense of humour. From his ordered chartable he povided us with the perfect landfall having arisen from his slumbers whilst holding the coverted "golden Blanket award" His advice and wisdom were the essenetial elements for are succeesful crossing
Finally , I have to look to myself and although I'm unable to comment as to my performance,  at least i can record a deep satisfaction in achieving my goal as skipper in taking four guys  across the pond in great harmoney and fellowship_no one was injured and we stepped up to the challange  and we gave it our best, clocking up impressive daily runs and eating excellant dinners. It was particarly difficult in respect that all my crew are skippers in their own right and are used to running their own boats in their own individual ways, without exception they all excepted my command and surported my decisions without hesitation_one could'nt ask for more. I had been nervous at the start due to my dodgy ticker and felt that I should provide written instructions about chucking me over the side , should the worst happen, towards the end of the trip the topic came up in conversation and I'm pleased to report that my crew knew exactly what to do.
My yacht Fenella has looked after us and deserves a good rest  and I would like to take this opportunity of thanking her and my crew for such a memorable voyage_God Bless and keep Trucking_Hutchxx