Rodney Bay 0 miles to go!!
As some of you know I did my first Atlantic crossing on a yacht called Northern Child, I was one of 10 paying crew and I was pretty new to sailing.
It was a fantastic adventure and, to be honest, a one off as far as I was concerned. I remember returning home to find that Caroline, one of my colleagues at Dega my old company, had plastered our work kitchen walls with all the daily blogs. I was really touched and came away with a tear in my eye.
I never dreamt that, 10 years on, I would be doing this voyage in our own boat, it is a very different experience but one we will all savour for a long time. Although as Vicki said I did promise to bring her back here, so maybe the plan was actually hatched then.
It all worked because every one of the crew worked so hard to make sure we were safe, comfortable and going as fast as we could but keeping a safety margin. To finish first, first you must finish.
We had help from a lot of suppliers:-
Jeff Taylor at Boat Sales International who sold us the boat and gave us so much advice and support. We had 100% confidence that White Satin would not let us down, whatever we threw at her. From the very beginning, Jeff was involved in helping us to spec the boat with this dream in mind.
Stuart at Seateach for the Parasailor, it worked really well and certainly eased the rolling motion.
Wayne at Advance Yacht Systems for supplying and fitting the Dessalator watermaker, it didn't miss a beat and kept us clean.
Ed and Danny at Mailasail for the sat comms which again all worked perfectly.
TecSew for the bimini, lee cloths and table cover.
Oceansteer for our emergency steering kit which we didn't need - hooray!!
YB Tracking for the YB tracker, a great piece of equipment, it enabled us to track the fleet at sea and was a backup comms device if the sat phone had failed (which it didn't)
Thanks also to World Cruising Club for organising the ARC, it really is a fantastic event.
Lastly of course I could not have done this without the unswerving support of Vicki who pushed herself so far out of her comfort zone that I didn't really believe it at times. There were some ****** big waves.
Thanks to you all for your support and messages; you have no idea how our spirits were lifted when we heard from home shores.
Last night we attended the ARC Prize Giving Ceremony, another totally professional event, thoroughly enjoyed by us all. We learned some interesting facts which we thought may also be of interest to you:
Early in the voyage there was a great deal of angst - to motor or not to motor. The average number of hours motored was 61.8 hours, with 25 boats motoring for over 100 hours, so at 23.8 hours, we didn't do so badly.
There were 24 children on 15 yachts from 9 different countries. The oldest skipper was aged 80 (two more ARCs in me yet then). Only 232 of the participants were female, which was 18.3% of the fleet.
There were 120,000 visitors to the ARC website in 2016 with 4 visits to the site per minute. The Event Fleet Tracker was the most popular page visited on the ARC website with 174,795 views. There are now 15,000 facebook fans, 2,000 of whom are new.
They received 1,250 logs from 75 different boats. We learned that our log was the most viewed one on the ARC website so a huge thank you to you all! We were praised for our account of standing by Noah following the MayDay call, and it was noted that our logs and photos covering life on board each day received plenty of comments from old friends and new followers who seemed to enjoy our honest tales of life at sea. Consequently, we were awarded the prize for the 'Best account of life at sea', a voucher for a local restaurant, which sadly, as the Blanchards and Crosses go home today, we will not be able to use together, but it seems that the Addey children will benefit when they join us later in the week.
On corrected time, we came 9th (out of 19) in our class, by our calculations we came 50th out of 181 boats in the cruising division and 74th overall; we are very proud of ourselves.
So, it really is time to sign off now. "White Satin - out."