The ARC Europe programme continues in full swing here in Bermuda. Starters from both Nanny Cay and Portsmouth were all safely moored in good time for the first social of the stopover, the infamous Pirate Paaaarty, and new faces from six of the eight boats joining the rally here were warmly welcomed.
Arriving on the terrace, participants were greeted with a Goslings Dark'n Stormy prepared by the Rally Control mixologists and were soon comparing notes on their sail to Bermuda, and plans for exploring the islands. With great costumes and decorations, St. Georges Dinghy and Sports Club was soon transformed for a night of swash-buckling fun.
Adding to the festivities, a local troupe of Bermudan Gombey dancers took to the floor inside the club. The Gombey tradition on the island goes back to at least the early 1800s – it’s a vibrant blend of African, Native American, Caribbean and British cultures. Dressed in elaborate costumes with towering headdresses and accompanied by a band of drummers beating out the rhythm, the troupe soon captivated the audience with their eccentric moves. The high energy display certainly added to the party mood as crews crowded round to watch the spectacle, tossing a dollar or two into the ring.
As the beat faded and the troupe made their way out, our hosts at the club fired up the BBQ with crews eagerly tucking in to burgers and hot dogs. The party lasted late into the night and was a great welcome celebration for the crews.
Saturday is our duty free fuelling day, organised especially for rally boats to take advantage of. Often this can be a very busy day but because of the great sailing up from the BVI there were only small top ups needed.
In total we served 17 boats on the Pennos Wharf from a Sol Petroleum road tanker/truck. Some boats only needed to come over with jerry cans, either by scooter or dinghy. In all there was 1,007 gallons served which was a saving of $2400 across the fleet. Testament to the good winds from the BVI, this was only one third of the fuel total that was delivered in 2017.
Looking ahead, this evening is the Leg 1 Prizegiving and a special Fish Fry dinner at the Club whilst tomorrow crews are encouraged to explore Bermuda by taking a ferry over to the historical dockyard, or a walking tour of the town of St. Georges.