POSITION : 14°32'•7 N AND 60°12'•4 W
23.20 h LOCAL TIME !
Mood : GREAT !
" AFTER THE GAME IS BEFORE THE GAME "
And at sea as well.
Because yes, we are approaching Saint Lucia fairly quickly now, it is only a step. But an important one, of course. From here my thoughts are already thinking about the return and its forthcoming challenges......Oh dear....
Anyway, let's not think about it now. We are finally enjoying our sailing :
Subject: Final Approach of Champagne
Date: 12 December 2012 13:06:18 WET
We can see the end of the tunnel, the light that might be hitting you because it is the train coming towards you ? Well, probably not.
We had it all, but mostly wind of the strength BF 7, 8 and 9.
We could have been faster, but with the cut in the Genoa that was difficult.
And we were not lucky with the wind direction.
Can't stand anymore the banging of the sails and the shuddering of the rig.
Happy to still have a rig, and a rudder !
But since yesterday all is really going our way. Finally the NE wind, finally with the right strength BF 7-8, and the boat towards the right direction ( S Lucia ), with a speed of 9-10 kts.
During the night we had some scary moments, particularly with one squall that hit us, but we were prepared and had reefed early.
Anyway, even that does not bother us anymore.
It is now lunch time on the 12.12.2012, 100 miles still to go, and we will be there soon, safe and sound.
ETA is tonight after midnight.
That is all that matters.
Some are there already, some others way behind.
Don't care, today is a beautiful sailing day, as it should be in the Caribbean : Hot, sunny, trade winds, G&T or a beer, good food, freshly baked bread, who wants to sit behind a desk. All pain, efforts, sleepless nights , almost all forgotten already.
But many stories to tell.
Life is beautiful ( again ).
Master Mike / Champagne
local time though, we are sure of it , but it will be shortly before midnight.
It's getting tight.
AND THEN IT HAPPENED AGAIN:
5 MILES OFF PIGEON ISLAND, THE NE CORNER OF SAINT LUCIA, AND THE CORNER TO PASS FOR GOING INTO RODNEY BAY, OUR FINAL DESTINATION, AND EXACTLY, BUT REALLY EXACTLY WHEN THE FOLLOWING PICTURE WAS TAKEN ( OR MAY BE BECAUSE OF IT ? ) :
ARC CONTROL, ARC CONTROL, THIS IS S/Y CHAMPAGNE CALLING,
WE ARE APPROACHING !
BOTH PLOTTERS WENT DOWN AGAIN !!!!
Pitch-dark, and a lot of lights at the coast, but none as a guidance for sailors.
But this is where the Skipper comes into :
"Don't touch anything" I said,
and disappeared again for the navigation table.
This is the moment, where old skills are required. And I grew up with no GPS, no plotter, just good charts, instincts, good eyesight ( at least when I was young ), and a good portion of self assurance
combined with ( by now ) a lot of experience.
And so we sailed into Rodney Bay, with reefed sails, and wonderful speed,
" in the old style "
Gangnam Style !
PASSING THE FINISH LINE
OVERALL 57TH PLACE OUT OF 185.
NOT BAD !!!!!
Because the return trip is looming.
As the headline says .....
AFTER THE GAME IS BEFORE THE GAME !
But let's leave that for another day .
Let's first enjoy the Caribbean .