Risque Business - ARC+ 2023 Wrap Up.

Well we’ve been in Grenada for 4 days now and what a welcome all the yachts have had. The ARC Yellow Shirts have been great and so helpful along with the team from Port Louis Marina. As the RB WAGs have been here too, we’ve been lucky to have a lovely villa to stay in, however Mark and DB have stayed on board. The crew have spent several days getting RB cleaned up and returned to a cruising yacht after her months of being an ocean passage-maker. Of course copious Rum Punches and Carib beers have been consumed to keep the crew well oiled.

I however, have taken my PADI Open Water practical exams with a fab dive school called ScubaTech and spent 3 of these last days underwater exploring a completely new and amazing world of reefs, corals and some incredible sea life. It included the largest ever lobster my mermaid of a dive instructor, Julie, has ever seen! I did spend a lot of time doing the theory and exam of the Open Water course during the Atlantic crossing, so I’m chuffed to now have my Open Water certification.

So that’s been the daytime activities of RB’s crew! Evenings have been spent partying with other crews and chilling at the villa too. Last night was the main ARC+ finishing party & award ceremony, where we drank the venue dry of rum! What an excellent night it was with Nessun Dorma taking both fleet line honours and corrected time honours for our Class A. Where did RB come, I hear everyone clamor. For the racers amongst the crew (DB & Rich) our second leg result wasn’t great - 15th out of 16 yachts in class A! However we did start 31.5 hours after everyone else and we did not have the use of our engine for the return to Mindelo deducted from the total propulsion hours! If we had, we may have gained a place or two. For the fishermen (Nick & Ed), it was quite a successful voyage with a guesstimate of a total of 21kg of fish caught and landed. The Wahoo probably gets the top prize for being the tastiest. Sadly no prizes for RB in the sailing categories, however yours truly did get a mention for the RB blogs that I’ve posted during the voyage. The 1st prize went to our friend Clare from AquaLuna, so that’s gonna have to be read so I know what a winning blog looks like for my next crossing. I also had Audrey, from Blue Wonder come up to me last night and ask who the lady was aboard who wrote our blog, as her and her husband so enjoyed reading about our exploits. It cheered up their night watches! I had to admit that, as RB had no ladies aboard, I was the scrib. So at least Risque Business did get a mention!

Well it’s Friday and with several hangovers on board after last nights finish party, we’ve all come to the marina and taken RB for a sail to True Blue Bay for lunch and a swim. All the WAGs are here (apart from Shannon, who with Ed have decided to go for a hike in the hills) and we’ve had a nice sail over to the bay and tried some fishing again. It’s a bit rainy and squally today, but still nice to be back on RB with everyone.

What next - well, me, DB, Ed and Patrick fly home to the cold and wet U.K. tomorrow, but Mark, Nick and Deryle (Nick’s wife) are going to sail RB up to Tobago Keys, the islands to the north of Grenada. They are sailing up there with our great friends Tom, Jane and Harry aboard the yacht Dilema and spending a few days chilling, before returning to Grenada, while Dilema continues her voyage north.

Yachts are now starting to dissipate from Port Louis, as they are sailed to many parts of the Caribbean. For some this is only the start of their voyage, with several joining the ARC World rally in late January to start their way towards Panama and the Pacific. No decisions from Nick yet regarding RB, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Risque Business heading west in the not too distant future!

All that is left for me to say is a massive thank you to Nick Whitehouse, the owner and skipper of Risque Business for all he has done to make this voyage happen. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to sail her again in some exotic location. Our crew, Mark Ashman (1st mate), Ed Strong, David Bartlett, Patrick Hurd and myself, Rich Hurd all had an amazing time aboard RB and have made fond memories for life. It’s lovely to have a crew that all end up in the La Plywood rum shack all laughing and swapping yarns of derring-do. A special mention must also go to Holly, our autohelm, without whom, we’d probably be closer to St Helena by now.

That’s All Folks. Risque Business Out.