The team ashore at Blue Lagoon Marina in Saint Vincent have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the first boats sailing the inaugural ARC+ Saint Vincent route since the fleet left Cape Verde on 25 November. Regular checks on the rally website, showed boats gradually closing on the island, a sometimes frustrating wait as winds slowed the front runners during yesterday.
Preparations were made ashore, ready for a very special welcome; gift bags and fruit baskets filled, and as zero hour approached, word quickly spread around the Marina “they’re coming!”, but would it be before dark?
The VHF radio crackled into life, and the first boat was over the line and keen to dock, just as the sun set. The ARC ‘yellow shirts’ set out in the control RIB to welcome the Discovery 55 Amaman
and her crew to the beautiful island of Saint Vincent. However, it was the marina owner Kelly Glass, who had the honour of guiding in the first arrival. With great enthusiasm and much “whoop-whooping” Amaman
was safely docked and bestowed with the many gifts of rum, sea salt, and fruit from the Saint Vincent Tourist Board and of course rum punch courtesy of Blue Lagoon Hotel Marina, all presented by Zillah, the lovely lady who runs the dock.Amaman
arrived at 20:00:05 local time, with the second arrival, White Pearl
a Lagoon 400, coming in just 3:30 hours later; some 12 and a half days after departing Mindelo. Docked safely and instantly washed down and code flags raised like a true rally professional - well done Mikko and the crew of White Pearl - and then the party really started. Friday evening at Blue Lagoon is happy hour night with live entertainment on the dock side and with three bars to choose from it was a great party atmosphere ashore for the new arrivals.
Yacht number three Tonia
arrived slightly later during the night but still joined the party and where somewhat amazed at the sight of the surrounding reef this morning; comments from some of the crew this morning went along the lines of “What did those guys put in that rum punch!”.
Around the dock this morning, the exhilaration of arrival has passed, and as crews get busy with wash downs and garbage removal they are all very happy to be ashore, but more than a few comments have been overheard of “how we wish it was longer”.
The weather has been generally good for the crossing, and all boats are expected with arrive within a three day window through to 10 December, with crossing times of 12 to 15 days.