End in Sight for First Half of Fleet
More than 40 of the ARC fleet are now happily moored in Rodney Bay, St Lucia, and the following pack are close on their heels. After fifteen days at sea, and with the end almost in sight for the majority of the ARC yachts, the prospect of a hot shower and a cold rum punch was whipping up an arrival fever amongst the fleet last night.
‘We will arrive tonight, so the champagne is chilled and the frosted glasses are waiting’ said Petter Barve of Bluesette. ‘The tremendous joy of spotting land after fifteen days could not have been greater. All of us feel the same way.’
For others, there is also contemplation and the realisation that a special time will soon be over. ‘A strange feeling is obvious on the boat’ said Scott from Sigma 400, Sunrise. ‘All the crew were lost in their own thoughts during our last night at sea. After the closeness of the last fourteen days, all six of us will feel very odd not having to share the space.’
There was speculation about their arrival time on Disco Inferno. ‘I can’t believe it’s nearly all over’ said Liz. ‘Did we just see the last sunrise of the trip? The breeze did drop off yesterday afternoon and we occasionally only saw 12 knots of wind. This morning it seems to be filling back in and maybe we’ll make Rodney Bay before sunrise tomorrow.’
For others, it is a chance to enjoy the last magical days of the crossing. ‘Going on deck at 0400 this morning was a real treat’ said Julian from Northern Child. ‘We were making a steady 8 knots towards St.Lucia, right on course. The moon was just over half full and shining down from directly overhead in a cloudless starry sky. The decks were dry and brilliantly illuminated by the moon, the breeze was warm and the ocean a little calmer than it has been over the last week or so.’
There was also comment about the incidents that occurred over the weekend – two Atlantic rescues. No doubt echoing the sentiment throughout the fleet, John Pearce from Om Shanti wrote in his log ‘The response to the relay from the ARC fleet was magnificent. The phenomenal and unselfish way in which sailors will always put themselves on the line in an emergency situation, never ceases to amaze me.’
Forty-one yachts have now arrived in St.Lucia, and another thirty are expected in the next 24-hours. With forecast trade winds expected to drop away from Wednesday, the fleet are making the most of the wind whilst they can.