Chance Encounter - Chance Encounter: Day??? - Final Report
No idea what day it is - final report is being written with a fantastic calypso drummer belting out tunes at BB's restaurant in Rodney Bay Marina. It's lunchtime, a breeze is in the palms and ice cream and baileys are on the table (this is called a "chance encounter" if you are to order it....a drink from Corfu days!).
So our last day on water was full of surprises. Adrian was hit by a flying fish on his very last night shift...by morning we had five on deck and seemed to chase a flock of these silver and blue winged beauties out of every wave. By ten a.m. the breeze was up to 22-25knots and while we were blasting westwards we picked up a distress call that was being attended to by three other vessels and the coastal patrol people of Barbados and Martinique (motorboat with spoiled fuel needing a tow). Captain Rigs assisted with relaying messages. An hour later, a two engined search plane buzzed us VERY close (presumably to read the name off the back of our boat)...we were too gobsmacked to take out the cameras! Next we crossed courses with an old 3-masted clipper ship that had been converted to a cruise ship. A pair of petrel seabirds then circled our boat for the next few hours - dive bombing the flying fish in our wake. Then finally....
About 10 miles out we saw the mountains of St Lucia pop out of the haze, and with a growing collection of other boats we hadn't seen for weeks, we rounded the northern tip of the island. The final hour was spent getting the last few squabbles out of our system, and we rounded Pigeon Island, then crossed the finish line with main and jib fully powered and close hauled. The sweet relief!! Commander Jules met us on the end of the jetty as we sailed into the harbour, and Clare and the ARC welcome party welcomed the five of us ashore with a calypso player, basket of fresh fruit, and rum punches. Solid ground was heaven.
We finished Friday afternoon, a bit earlier than expected. Since then we have confirmed we were first over the line for our division ("line honours" for division 1G), and also have a decent shot at the corrected time title. Corrected time takes into account the amount of motoring each boat does (we did very little as the captain and navigator took cruel pleasure in seeing the crew suffer in light winds and suffocating heat), as well as the size of the boat (only one boat smaller than us finished ahead, but they had a much more compassionate captain who motored 38hrs through all the light spots). We did very well for our size and had the chance to meet our closest competitor this morning - our sister ship "Frigg" from Norway who chased us all the way across.
So here we are in Rodney Bay, St Lucia. The boat has been cleaned and all little damages repaired. The crew have continued our routines on land. Rigs continues to check positions regularly with the Commander at his side (and can confirm that yes, the boat is still on dock C-29). And we are keeping the watch system intact: Jules and Rigs got pickled on Friday night with friends Jason, Nancy, and Kay at the Gros Islet street party, while Adrian, Rob, and Doug tied one on with the German/Austrian/Swiss crews of Luna/VavaU and fellow Canadian Eric from Quebec City racer "Jayana"....ice hockey tournament in Nelson BC, Canada next winter boys!!! Grandma, you're in net!!!
So that's it from us on Chance Encounter. Thank you all for following us and sending us notes of encouragement. Thank you so much Jules and Rigs for the large amounts of time and energy you put into making this happen, and thank you to the ARC crew for putting on a safe, well organised, and most importantly FUN event!
Exit song: "Happy"
Crew of Chance Encounter.