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La Cigale - Day 24 - 12 December - Land Ahoy!

I'd just got to sleep (it seemed) when the alarm rang. Still pitch black outside, I just about registered it was only 5am, at least an hour and a half too early for my alarm. Why is it ringing? What do I do? The ringing stopped. Then it began again. I started, taken aback by its insistence, then fumbled, all fingers and thumbs. Three weeks away from civilisation and I've forgotten how to answer a phone!

I got there in the end though to find it was Xavier's cousin Tom, who, with his family, had sailed with us to the Canaries. Tom was ringing to congratulate us - only 12 miles to go! How's the atmosphere with you guys? Hot and stuffy, I replied, thinking of the vest top sticking to my back. Not sure that's quite what he meant...

The Skipper mumbled an acknowledgement into the microphone, and rolled over, back to sleep. Wide awake, I jumped out of bed and ran to take one last look at the lingering night sky - the Southern Cross, Jupiter, Mars and Sirius still visible. Catherine came to join me at the helm and we watched the sunrise. Magnificent. I raised our courtesy flag with Harley. "Lucy, that's a French bowline you've done, but never mind." Apparently that means it's back to front!

St Lucia looms large now, rolling hills of velvet dotted with picturesque white colonial houses finged with palm trees. All the crew are up now. The atmosphere, to answer Tom's question, is in part incredulity, mixed with joy and huge relief!This is it... Rodney Bay, La Cigale's on her way!

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