Agua Dulce - Log Day 20 - Hello, St. Lucia!
I took a day to decompress and sleep and just get reacquainted with land before I sat down to write this final blog post for the crossing. I think we all have mixed emotions about leaving soon. I think we are all a little bit sad to be leaving Agua Dulce in a few days, but very excited to go home to the US and England for Christmas with our families. The good news is our crew will all be back together in February to spend a few weeks cruising the Caribbean with the addition of Oli and Benji, Tracy’s sons. Sorry Cunningham kids. You’ll have to come another time!
On our final approach to St. Lucia, we were welcomed by a pair of beautiful brown boobies. Ok, everyone, get your minds out of the gutters. Boobies are very common island birds with several species which inhabit the islands. The brown booby is the most common West Indian booby. They were flying all around our boat and diving for fish which we were apparently stirring up as we sailed.
Tracy was the first to call “Land Ho!” when she spotted Martinique as we were approaching the islands. St. Lucia was shrouded by rain clouds for a time. But then, a beautiful rainbow appeared with one end over St. Lucia and the other over Martinique. We sailed through the pass between the islands, so it was almost like a gateway guiding us home.
We crossed the finish line just before 10:30am Atlantic Standard Time. True to form, the WCC yellow shirts were at the dock to greet us with rum punch, a beautiful island fruit basket complete with a bottle of the island rum, and arrival instructions, paperwork etc. Other sailors who had already arrived came by to say hello, and it was truly a joyful experience.
After 3000 miles on a rocking sea, there are always things that need fixing on a boat, so we met with someone about the various items that need attention. Thankfully, the air conditioner did NOT require a new pump and just needed to be rid of an air lock. Even in December, the Caribbean is hot and steamy, and the AC is just magical. Unfortunately, the first night before the AC was fixed, we had all the hatches open so that we could get some air. In the middle of the night, the heavens opened up and dumped rain. We obviously woke up and closed the hatches, but someone (maybe Captain Charlie) had left the sliding door over the main companionway open and it rained all over the area near the chart table down below. It completely soaked our logbook which we had so carefully filled out every two hours. It is now drying out and will be legible, and I guess it has more character than it had originally when it was straight and unstained.
The saddest news is that my lovely Miele washer/dryer that we bought in Europe when my old one died a few years ago will NOT work when plugged into US power. The machine is European which works on 50 hertz, and the US runs on 60 hertz. So, time for yet another new washer/dryer.
We’ve been to a weekly street party in Gros Islet where we had fresh grilled spiny lobster and the best rice I’ve ever had. Keith was our hero since he stood in the rain for over an hour to get the lobster. When he finally reached the front of the line, he was told that the line for lobster was “over there,” and had to queue up all over again! We went to another dinner for cruisers at the yacht club on the beach last night where Tracy and I took our first walks in the Caribbean water! We’re all looking forward to a beach party this afternoon where we take a motor catamaran to Anse La Raye for a “seafood fiesta” complete with music, local vendors, and of course, rum! We also bought a bag of spices from a local lady yesterday that we added to a bottle of Mt. Gay Rum so we will have our own homemade spiced rum when we return in February.
In her 16 years, Agua Dulce has spent a great deal of time in the Caribbean. We split time between here and the east coast of the US for many years before we did the crossing to the Mediterranean in 2015. It is very good to be “home”!