This morning we set sail with 4 novice Cuban crew who needed a boat for the flotilla. They spoke as much english as we did spanish but we got by with hand signals and smiles! 3 were nurses, 1 was a medical Doctor specialising in kidneys but unfortunately he was very ill during our 3 hour jaunt. It was rough though and quite windy. One of the St Lucian Tourism Dept officials brought them along to us, which was a nice touch.
Around 55 boats left Rodney Bay marina at 0830 and congregated in Castries harbour for a 1015 start, with gun! We all then hurtled back to Rodney Bay, trying not to crash into one another until we got to the bottleneck of the narrow cut into the lagoon and marina. I never like being too close to other boats, so not my favourite time. 1 tiny inflatable dinghy took part and it looked a very dangerous ride for them but they made it 🙂
All the crews then had a free drink and BBQ at the Ocean Club on the waterfront, not a bad way to spend a Sunday!
We dug out our old ARC flag for the event, probably the last time we will fly it but very apt today with the racing division leaving Las Palmas to head over here. For the first time since 1989, the cruising division were offered a delayed start due to high winds expected tonight and most of them have postponed until Tuesday. At the moment we aren’t sure if this will affect the social programme and finish line dates but as the farewell party is already very close to Christmas, being on the 21st, we don’t expect they can delay it.
Beyzano is unhappy at the moment, laced up in the marina but we felt it would be easier for our crew to get on her from the jetty. We can wash the decks down and charge everything up on shore power but it no longer feels right being tied up!
We have the schedule for the ARC events here, with the Welcome Cocktail Party planned for 12th December, cookery demonstrations, steel pan, dancers, Crew Olympics and the fancy dress party with a toga theme, amongst others. Something is going on every day from the 12th to 22nd December.
Next year there will be a new Christmas Rally setting off from the Canaries to Antigua but leaving later when the trade winds are more reliable and not arriving until after New Year. The participants will have the excitement of spending Christmas and New Year at sea, with the festivities aided by party packs as part of the extensive Rally package. A good friend of ours is running this event and if anyone wants further information please take a look at www.sailingrallies.com