After quiet watches at midnight and 3am for Jonathan and Will, the wind picked up significantly during Robert’s 6am watch, with 55 kt gusts and sheeting rain, 14.5 kts with two reefs in main and genoa, keeping Robert on his toes to the end! We passed within approx. 30 miles of Barbados on the port side and headed on to our waypoint, north St Lucia, with Rodney Bay marina just around the headland past Pigeon Island.
Bright blue skies, winds 20-22 kts and making 7-8 kts VMG so all in very good spirits following a challenging day with the steering problems yesterday. A quick pizza lunch (Karen’s last session in the galley – promise!) and we could make out the wooded hills of St Lucia through the haze. As the depth reduced the sea state built up and it became very choppy with a 2-3m following swell.
We gybed off Pigeon Island at around 13.30 local time and used the autopilot to take us to the finish line, given potential steering problems. Very pleased, proud and happy to have crossed the finish line at 13.53 local time! Photos from a chasing photographer as we approached the line, and VHF contact with ARC Finish Line and ARC Berthing as we were guided to our berth in Rodney Bay Marina.
What an adventure – fantastic to be on dry land again and greeted by the St Lucia Tourist Board with rum punches and a basket of fruit! Some well-earned beers and a Thai meal in the marina last night, swopping war stories with other ARC crews. In touch with Gavin in SA who was delighted that we had arrived safe and sound and our thanks to him for making the crossing possible for us all. Total nm sailed since Las Palmas – 3268nm.
Boni Venti over and out.