On Friday just before 1030, the first yacht, Vaquita, crossed the finishing line, having sailed the Atlantic in just over 12 days. The crew were sitting on the rail as they powered over the line under full sail but we noticed one very cool customer at the top of the mast, taking photos!
The second boat, Berenice, was in on Saturday by 0630, a boat twice the length of the first! 11 have now finished and once we are on the line we will try to get some photos.
We expect the remaining 230+ to come in by the close of the line on 21st December and Beyzano will be on duty for the close. We have 4 x 24 hour slots to run and are looking forward to welcoming everyone in. 2 of the other Finish Line boats need to leave St Lucia next weekend, leaving just us and our friends on Nyda, who arrived late last night from Trinidad, to man the final 6 days.
The World Cruising Club provided us with special ARC Finish Line T-shirts and a 2012 ARC flag, which was unexpected. No need to sail for 20 days to get those then!
We are still anchored in Rodney Bay and returned to a nice sandy patch we had found previously. When we settled in there on Tuesday we were alone but on Thursday morning we awoke to find ourselves surrounded by yachts which had moved from south of the bay due to dragging their anchors during the night.
The Royal Clipper arrived today and anchored in the bay, a beautiful sight to add to the excitement. We dinghied over to Ko-Ko, who were the first Finish Line boat, to keep them company during a quiet spell. We just checked the ETAs and it looks like we will have around 20 arrivals on our first watch! We know people sailing on Rafiki and Peregrine and if we aren’t on duty when they arrive we will meet them in the dinghy.
We have been socialising a lot, I attended a ladies lunch on Wednesday, we met up with friends we first encountered in Bequia back in May, on Blue Moon and had a sociable couple of evenings with them. The second was a meal in Jambe de Bois, the restaurant on Pigeon Island and the cocktails were only 1.25 GBP each and the food and atmosphere are excellent. The dinghy trip back was the wettest we’ve ever had though and no matter what speed we did, we got buckets of water all over us!
New friends on Nemo returned from Martinique and have anchored next to us again. They have been out here for many years. Always good to meet similar people, makes us feel less mad ☺