Are we there yet?

Apologies for not keeping Pink and Fluffy up to date. During the 23 day crossing we put our daily blog onto the ARC website and Clive has painstakingly managed to transfer them on to our website under ‘latest news’. It prided a daily blow by blow account of our trip with all of us taking it in turn to write something.

It’s been reported that this year was one of the most challenging ARC crossings and everyone that we’ve spoken to since has commented on how difficult it was and how glad they were to get to StLucia.

I have to confess to liking the first 10 days but that was a challenge in itself as there was no wind and we had to motor.  The ocean was a calm as a pond and I even had a swim around the boat. We obviously didn’t have enough fuel to motor all the way so had to divert to Cape Verde and do a pitstop refuel. I had to check that this didn’t count as us checking in as that would’ve caused problems with the cats.

After Cape Verde we chased whatever wind there was and it was all a bit tactical as to how much fuel we could afford to use.   We finally hit the trade winds and that’s when I stopped enjoying the ride!  It was not what was expected, it was rough! Sleeping was almost impossible and I had a few days of seasickness when I just wanted to curl up and die. We kept getting battered by squalls which made it even more unpleasant.

The cats were amazing and put me to shame, adapting so well that I think they were born to sail.

When we finally saw land it was dark and we were welcomed by the finish line boat and by an enjoyable rum punch on the key side. Kika crew and some friends from the UK were there to cheer us in and we  docked on the luxury yacht pontoon. The marina bar came alive with cheers and whoops and we felt very important! It was such a relief to finally be on land, although I can honestly say that I was never scared or frightened at any stage of the voyage.

We were straight into the usual ARC parties that were going on every night.

Rodney Bay is now our home for a few months.  I immediately discovered our man C.J. (Christopher Joseph) who is on the end of a phone whenever I ring. He takes our laundry, returning it the same day, he drives a taxi and takes us to the supermarket, waits while we shop and then helps us back to the boat. Everyone should have a C.J., he’s such a find.

We sailed to Marigot Bay for Christmas and as we’ve always had a champagne party on Christmas Eve for all our friends we tried to Skype the usual suspects at the allotted time, but it was not to be. There was a massive sub tropical storm that hit the whole area and neighbouring islands. It lasted for about 36 hours and was merciless. We found out later that there were 7 fatalities, roads flooded and bridges swept away. There was no water in the marina for several days. (Fortunately we have our water maker.)

Christmas day was very memorable. Cocktails in the hotel bar by the pool followed by lunch on board. Gravlax and roast turkey with all the trimmings we could muster.

Sailing back from Marigot Bay to Rodney Bay felt like we were coming home as we’re now known by a lot of the staff in the restaurants and bars. We’ve also discovered Spinnaker’s bar which is on the beach and have just booked in there for New Year’s Eve. A live band, fireworks on the beach and an awsome menu with cocktails and drinks included.

Then on 2nd January my eldest daughter, son in law, his mother and our grandson arrive for a week. I can’t wait!!!!!!!!!!!!

We don’t know what we’ll do next or where we’ll go. The Caribbean is our oyster and we intend to do some serious exploring and chilling out over the next few months.

Meanwhile, a very Happy New Year to everyone from the sunny Caribbean!