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White Satin - Land Ahoy !

5 am - 3020 miles sailed, 20 to go

It is 5 am and we have the first glimmer of dawn in the East, and far more
excitingly we have the first hint of land to the West. Two glows of light
can be made out - the one to the left of our bow is St Lucia, the other to
the right is the island of Martinique. So in a couple of hours we should
pass between the two islands, then turn left for a few miles down the east
coast of St Lucia to the finish line at the marina in Rodney Bay.

The Atlantic has given us a last wild night, and we are still tossing around
in big waves - once we round the corner we will be in the lee of the island
and all will calm down which will be very welcome. Late yesterday
afternoon for the first time this voyage a wave broke over the back of the
boat and sent quite a bit of water into the cockpit - this would have been
OK apart from the fact that the rear cabins have a small hatch that open
into the cockpit and about a gallon of water poured through one of these and
soaked the bedding below. Fortunately as it is the last night at sea we
will be able to get all the bedding on deck once we are tied up to dry in
the warm tropical sun . We really should have had the hatches closed (we
do close them if it rains), but didn't really expect that.

I think we all enjoyed our last night time watch - it was very dramatic as
there was a bright full moon which illuminated the waves and surf crashing
around us, one last squall came though briefly obscuring the moon with a few
minutes of heavy rain and gale force gusts, another wave broke into the
cockpit (hatches now safely closed), and Jon got hit by two flying fish, one
of which was lucky enough to get thrown back in the sea to have the
opportunity to surprise another sailor one day.

Update at 8am 3040 miles sailed, 0 miles to go !!!!
We have just crossed the finish line and tied up on dry land. There is rum
punch awaiting us on the pontoon. Perfection.

Update at 2pm and still 0 miles to go
The rum punch awaiting us on the pontoon and then several beers with a full
English breakfast have now been consumed and a siesta feeling seems to have
overtaken the crew. Wet bedding is with 'Suds' the laundry with a promise
of being back clean and dry this evening, we may even get to wear clean
underwear. Unimagined luxury !

This will be the last blog for a few days - next Sunday there will be one
more after the end of rally party, by which time all the boats should be in
and the final positions will have been calculated by the organisers after
adjusting for the different handicaps and amount of engine hours used by
each boat.

So three cheers to skipper Dave for planning and achieving a fantastic
trouble free adventure for all of us - it is huge responsibility to skipper
such a long voyage, and was achieved with cheerful good humour throughout
(even when we pulled the wrong rope yet again, or repeatedly forgot that
putting any thing on the cockpit table would assuredly result immediately in
a mess on the cockpit floor a few seconds later when the next wave hit).
And to skipperess Vicki for planning all the domestic arrangement - ranging
from an excellent menu of food (and the provisioning thereof), and a wide
assortment of entertainments. All went entirely to plan, and I know this
trip is the culmination of 2 years (or more) planning by them both. All of
us crew appreciate this adventure of a lifetime they have given us beyond
what words can express.

Caribbean Times

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