‘ARC control this is Yacht 'Bimble'…...’
WE CROSSED THE FINISHING LINE EARLY THIS MORNING AT 01.45 Hours local time…YIPPPEEEEE….WE have crossed an Ocean!!!!…….Wow what a final ‘ride’ through squalls as we approached St Lucia. Wind and rain lashed us, we donned our wet weather foulies for our last leg to the final destination. We went from a loom on the horizon, to seeing lights and clear shapes of land and then suddenly the island came into full view. The rain was biblical…..Stephen helmed for a while and the Rod helmed to round Pigeon Island into Rodney Bay. I couldn’t see a flipping thing with my glasses on all soaked and splattered with water….so I was the VHF contact with ARC control to give over our boat details and our ETA at the finishing. All eyes were peeled to try to find the lights of the race committee yacht and the buoy marking the finishing line against the back drop of 1000’s of lights on shore. We were asked to sail across the finishing line….hummmmmmm now interesting as it meant sailing directly into the wind…..I said put the engine on, genoa flying, we hardened it as much as possible to at least look like we were sailing……Rod was doing his best and we inched to the line, then a fast inflatable appeared on our port beam wanting to take photos of us, so we did a quick pose.….Then me in my frantic eagerness to ‘get there’ raised my voice and said ‘Rod just get it over the f%*@£* finish line’…..not the best of skippering instructions, I’m not proud, but then he will forgive we, have been together for 39 years.. I called down to Lucy at the Nav station to record our finishing time and then the VHF cracked into life with ‘Congratulations ‘Bimble' welcome to St Lucia’ ……PHEW.
Next we had to dodge boats anchored in Rodney bay, some not showing anchor lights….we peered into the pitch black to find the Red and Green channel lights marking the entrance of the cut toward the marina…..Rod was magnificent as always and in his cool and gentle way guided ‘Bimble’ in where eventually we came port side too along a pontoon. Two ARC ‘Yellow Shirts’ were there to welcome us in the pouring rain and to take our lines, secure us well to the dock at about 02.15 hrs . A amazing man from ‘St Lucia tourist board’ patiently was waiting in his rain coat and handed us a bottle of rum, a basket of fruit and each of us a glass of rum punch….sweet nectar indeed. So it is over…..we felt elated, proud….sleep wasn’t going to come easy. We dug around our supplies and found a carton of cocktail fruit juice and some chilled tonic….we made a jug of cocktails and spent the next couple of hours enjoying coming down after finally making it safely to the other side of this immense Atlantic Ocean .
Freyja wrote a poem with the help of Lucy….she made me cry, not for the first time this journey……
ODE TO A CAPTAIN
I know this funny woman
for me her name is mum,
but recently we call her Captain,
she’s been our number one.
It started with a notion,
a slight inclination in her head,
To sail across an Ocean,
Or did the idea just instill dread
‘No’ She cried, 'I can do it'
with my man close by my side
We’ll buy a boat and hope it floats
Until we reach the other side
From Las Palmas to St Lucia
There were moments we spent creeping
So as not to wake the skipper
As she underwent forced sleeping
18 days it took us
With a rolling sea
We kept each other happy
With games, food and a cheeky g&t
Now I’m an honest woman
I can say it clear and loud
As we cross the final marker
I couldn’t be more proud.
Thanks Freyja, now that makes me proud…and I am proud of you…thanks also to all our lovely crew xxx.
‘Yacht ‘Bimble, out’IMG_1595