More boats roll across the ARC finish line including two dismasted yachts. Jeremy Wyatt reports from St Lucia 13/12/06
Overnight Rodney Bay Marina has been filled with a whirlwind of ARC yachts arriving; 36 yachts in the last 24 hours, with plenty more rolling on in soon.
The quiet dockside has been transformed into the venue for a mobile party, as each new arrival is greeted to cheers, waves from friends, the infamous ARC arrivals siren, and of course ice-cold St Lucian rum punch. After a welter of enthusiastic welcomes, it is time for the party to move on as the next arrival enters the channel into the lagoon.
Amongst the arrivals today were the two dismasted yachts – Duckwall Pooley, and Mustang. The big Canadian yacht Mustang actually managed to cross the finish line under sail; the crew having cannibalised their mainsail and jib to make a jury rig, and what an impressive sight they made.
Another new arrival, Julian from Northern Child sums up the feeling amongst his crew: “We finished the passage having achieved our objectives: We sailed the Atlantic without using the autopilot. We ended up friends – what more can we ask for?” See Northern Child’s news story here.
Meanwhile on Boo Tiger it is a case of ‘cabin-fever’ for the young crew anxious to arrive and join the party “Nearly there! Only 157 nautical miles to go” writes Amy today. “I can’t believe that we have spent 16 days cooped up on the boat. It seems like a lifetime. We’re all clock watching trying to figure out exactly when we will get in and hoping it will be in daylight.”
Slowed down by the lessening trade winds, the crew of Adeia decided to take time out and enjoy a mid-Atlantic swim. “Mother nature delivered us a two hour lull in both wind and waves yesterday so we took advantage of it by furling our sails, throwing out a line and buoy, and jumping into the deepest, bluest pool any of us has ever been in – this one was about 18,000 feet deep, something over three miles! BLUE, BLUE, BLUE and warm, low 80s, ” said owner Chris Burke.
Also enjoying the moment were the crew of Zulane, who described a nightwatch under a clear sky filled with shooting-starts as “the coolest mid-Atlantic nightclub” – the full moon provides the mood lighting, then just turn on your iPod, get into the groove and watch the night time sky and the phosphorescence off the bow wave. It sounds idyllic.