Nearly 50 ARC+ boats have now finished their transatlantic crossing and are enjoying the facilities and ambience of Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. The atmosphere is very relaxed and crews are enjoying welcoming their fellow participants and catching up with those they became friends with at the start in Las Palmas and in Mindelo. The marina swimming pool is especially popular with the ARC+ children who can finally stretch their legs after being at sea for so long, and the Victory Bar & Restaurant has a constant buzz as crews arrive and share their stories of the last two weeks and enjoy a rum punch or two!
As part of the ARC+ programme, later today there’s an informal ‘Welcome to Grenada’ for all crews at Sails Restaurant, set directly on the water’s edge of the stunning inner harbour known as the Careenage in St George’s.
The Port Louis docking team are busy berthing all the boats who finished late afternoon and overnight and, having now completed the health formalities, were ready to receive their much-anticipated dockside welcome from the Grenada Tourism Authority and ARC+ Yellow shirts. As more and more boats arrive, it’s nice to see other participants coming along to welcome them too as they arrive on the dock after crossing the finish line.
Yesterday afternoon (Sat 4 Dec) the Lagoon 42-2 Tortuga arrived safely and once again the five young children from the Tengelin and Humlén Kirbe families sang their lovely song to the welcoming committee on the dock.
Herco and and Elvira Tibboel and their two daughters, Merel and Mila on Morgane of Sark arrived just before dark last night (4 Dec) at 16:53 and were overjoyed at making landfall. They wrote on their yacht blog, approaching Grenada: “Yeah – Land - The mountains of Grenada just popped up. We are feeling euphoric and looking forward to arriving.” With 14-16 knots of breeze to carry them over the finish line, it was still just about daylight when they arrived on the quarantine dock, where they remained for the night before completing health protocols in the morning. It was then time for a proper, traditional welcome by the Grenada Tourism Authority representatives and ARC+ yellow shirts.
Also trying to get to the finish before the health officials left for the day were Tracy and Andrew Roantree who sailed across doublehanded in their Beneteau Oceanis 45, Walkabout. Unfortunately, they didn’t make it, as frustratingly, the wind died just over 30nm from the finish line. “I think we can smell the rum punch from here,” they said on their daily boat blog. They eventually got their rum punch welcome this morning and spoke of their crossing: “We feel delighted, it was great yesterday coming in and the welcome we had on the quarantine dock was fantastic. Morgane of Sark were in just after us and we’d had lots of conversations on VHF so it was lovely to see them."
Tracy also received a very special present last night from Zara Tremlett, Marina Manager at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina who had been contacted by Tracy's Mum in Australia asking her to give a message of congratulations to her daughter. She printed the heartfelt message off and gave her a 'message in a bottle' - which caused floods of tears all round!
Meanwhile, back on the Atlantic ocean...Cajuna, Daniel Gargot’s French Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 490D has now been at sea for over 15 days and have just over 250 nautical miles to go until the finish: “The days go by and look the same, or almost!” They joke about the squalls they are experiencing: “After the wash program, here is the rinse! Three little squalls freshened our minds last night, downpours in the space of a few minutes. Nice. Everything is fine on board."
Joe and Jo Styles’ Vagabond 47 Chula have 189nm to go and on their boat log said: “It's too early to be thinking about what we've learnt from having this ambition and sailing across the Atlantic. At the moment we're all looking forward to seeing land again, having a long freshwater shower, a cold beer/ice cream, and food we've not had to cook in our swaying galley. We've covered lots of miles in the last few days and had the pleasure of sailing with Big Bubble who were within VHF range; fingers crossed this will continue for our last few days and we can join our fellow ARC+ crews soon in Grenada."