With over 100 ARC+ and ARC yachts now safely docked in Rodney Bay marina, and another 20 expected in the next 24 hours, the ARC spirit in Saint Lucia is starting to buzz. Plenty of family and friends are eagerly checking the ETA list for their loved one’s arrival time, and fellow crews are on hand to welcome one another with applause and sirens. Lintu’s arrival last night saw them come in alongside ARC+ yacht Fruit Salid, adorned with fairly lights and hosting a party already in full swing. Coming all the way from Finland, the wives of Lintu’s crew were also on hand to welcome them and as their arrival coincided with Finland’s National Day, blue and white balloons were hoisted onboard. It’s a great atmosphere as the marina continues to fill and there are so many special reunion moments on the docks.
The ARC+ fleet will be almost complete by tonight’s Prize Giving Ceremony held at Pigeon Island National Landmark. It promises to be a great evening as crews come together to celebrate their Atlantic crossing achievements, with class prizes given out, as well as a number of special awards.
So far, the ARC arrivals have typically been the larger boats in the Cruising A and B classes, as well as 12 boats are from the Racing Division who have not used their engine for propulsion during the crossing. For them, studying the weather and making the call on the ‘North / South divide’ to avoid getting caught in the mid-Atlantic low has been key to their arrival time. Arriving in time for lunch, Ross Applebey and the crew of Scarlet Oyster were rightly satisfied with their choice to head south as they were first in Racing Division Class C to arrive in Rodney Bay.
Meanwhile the bulk of the ARC fleet are still at sea and are fully settled in to life on board after over two weeks of ocean sailing. Although many are taking a little longer than they may have hoped to reach Saint Lucia, the marvels of being at sea are not being wished away too quickly. Cruising boat La Contenta has been in light winds for a couple of days now, but reported “Our spirits were lifted when Cal spotted a whale 25 meters away. It was so close that we could see the white on the underside of its fins as it gracefully arced through the water. It stayed close to us for a while and then swam deep below the boat. The water was so clear that we could see it circle around and follow us off the stern for a short while before disappearing.”
Friends and Family can continue to follow the ARC Tracker which gives more frquent position reports for each yacht as they close in on the Finish Line.