The last of 26095 miles.
Soufriere, a very pretty bay and an excellent Hurricane Hole, was one long party. It was really the last time that the fleet gathered together under its own terms, for the Parade of Sail and the prize-giving and parties in Rodney Bay itself were carefully orchestrated for us by the World Cruising team. Soon after we settled in, spontaneously the fleet dressed overall, partly in response to the generous welcome that the excellent Soufriere Marina gave us and partly to mark the beginning of the end for our many months together as the World ARC family.
So we went to the restaurant for lunch with friends, had an evening meal with friends, had lunch with friends, had a World Cruising sponsored barbecue with friends and finally set off from Soufriere with the same bunch of friends. And in between we managed to assemble everyone at the same place at the same time for a Team Photograph. Gregory on La Boheme is a professional photographer, and you can see the stunning results on World ARC's Web-Site.
The Parade of Sail was designed to allow all boats to arrive back at Rodney Bay in good order and more or less at the same time. So the small, slow boats were allowed to lead, with Gerry and Isolde's Northern Sky in front and Cleone just behind. Up the coast and into the 25-knot wind we went it was hard going, bashing into the waves at five knots. It was an hour to Castries, where we sailed around the bay ringed by the Airport, the houses of the town itself and the dilapidated old barracks and other relics of the colonial age. A few more local boats joined us there, and it was an impressive fleet that turned north for the last five miles. At last we were able to turn through the gap between the Barrel of Beef Rock and the headland that marks the entrance to Rodney Bay. And five minutes later, as we steered between an orange buoy and the Committee Boat our voyage around the world was at an end.
Meanwhile, all is well with us, and very best wishes to you all. It has been a long journey, and I will write more later.
James and Cleone