Yesterday we left Rodney Bay and ARC World with a mixture of emotions. Excited to be getting on with the next part of the journey, sailing through the Grenadines with the Kids over Christmas, sadness at saying goodbye to our ARC family – all the friends we have met over the past couple of months and slight trepidation at emerging back out into the real world from the ARC’s protective bubble.
The final night in St Lucia was prize giving night. The World Cruising Club, organisers of the ARC, do a great job at including everybody in the prizes and everybody enjoyed the evening. We are still surprised at how well we did to win cruising class C and were especially pleased to win the a Oyster cup for the first placed Oyster in all the cruising classes, particularly as it was accompanied by a magnum of Moët.
We cast off from the dock at eight thirty for the fifty four mile trip to Walilabou bay on the Island of St Vincent. It’s funny how your perspective changes, a few months ago a 54nm trip would have seemed a long way but now it seemed like a quick hop. It was quite quick, we were anchored by four thirty, but it was also a rough trip, the channel between the bottom of St Lucia and the top of St Vincent was horrible – 3 metre swell on the beam, overlaid with messy waves and 40kts of wind.
We arrived into a beautiful bay with a sigh of relief, unfortunately this was short lived, having crossed an Ocean with hardly a breakage, we arrived in St Vincent to discover the mainsail wouldn’t furl and the up button on the anchor wasn’t working. Tired from the difficult crossing this was the last thing we needed, but finally with the sail furled away by hand, the anchor set at the bows and the stern attached by rope to a tree, we dinged ashore for dinner. We would face these problems tomorrow.
Walilabou bay was used for the filming of the Pirates of the Caribbean and the ramshackle restaurant was full of props, including a dozen coffins, a huge water wheel and a model of Captain Jack Sparrow clinging onto the top of a mast, as seen at the start of the first movie. The food to our tied and hungry tummies tasted excellent despite our rather alternative surroundings.
We woke to a freshening breeze and we felt uneasy about the position of the boat, it sat awkwardly between the anchor and the stern line, the rocks seemed uncomfortably close. The forecast was for the winds to increase so we decided to make a break for it and sail to our next stop, Bequia, a day early. This, of course, first entailed raising 1/2 ton of anchor and anchor chain by hand, well done Rick, Matt, Rachael and Thomas the boat boy. St Vincent we’ll have to visit you properly next time around.