Moving north up the Caribbean chain

Still can’t believe the World ARC Rally is over, the saving grace is that there is always something else to look forward to. Gradually our rally mates departed from Rodney Bay, a couple heading back south to lay up in Grenada, most north, some heading back home to the US, some home back across to Europe or U.K. Many sad goodbyes but hopefully many of us will meet again. We had to wait a couple of days for our mainsail to be repaired – the clew ring blew out during the parade of sail – so we were among the last to leave. First stop, Le Marin, Martinique, lots of shopping for the boat and of course French bread, wine and cheese etc. And several rally boats there too. We celebrated Howard from Misto’s birthday with Howard and Ros, also crews of Adrienne and PretAixte. It was also Easter and each boat got a wonderful Easter gift from Adrienne, decorated egg, choc eggs and bunny, madelines, all in a lovely nautical box with guardian chicks. Next stop was Grand Anse d’ Arlet where we spent Christmas 2015 (memorable party arranged for ARC+friends by Liam and Liz of Odyssey, and also Christmas 2016 with Steve’s sister Margaret. There are still turtles swimming all around the boats, and Misto and Adrienne also there.

We moved on to Dominica, Mero and then Portsmouth, then Guadeloupe, Deshaies (where they filmed Death In Paradise). So we are alternating currencies – Euros and ECD, also language French English, and flags. It’s strange doing short hops, we keep trying to buy too much food expecting to be at sea for a few weeks or so. So far we have had the usual Caribbean blast between the island with some calms in the lee but mainly sailing despite a forecast of little wind.

Next we will make the 130 mile passage to Dutch St Maarten to collect our new mainsail.

Round the World

Some statistics for our round the world journey in Timshel with World ARC 2017-2018 and World ARC 2018-2019. Time: 2 years, 3 months, 6 days. About 30,000 miles (precision not possible as the log broke several times). Countries visited: 19, islands visited 98. Friendships – many.

Parade of Sail to Rodney Bay

Our round the world adventure with World ARC finished with the parade of sail from Marigot Bay up to Rodney Bay St Lucia. As the smallest Yacht Timshel lead the fleet with Galen (our fantastic yellow shirt from World Cruising Club) on board. With the wind gusting up to 25 knots it was difficult keeping the boats in line and flags and sails flying, but all arrived safely to berth at Rodney Bay marina where it all started so many miles ago. The fantastic day finished with dinner and presentations at the Royal St Lucia hotel. Steve and I have been privileged to be part of two World ARC families. We first started with the 2017 rally, spent a year in Australia, then joined the 2018 rally as it left Darwin for the Indian Ocean. It was a great wrench to part from our first rally friends, but we received a great welcome and were soon part of the new group. It’s the camaraderie, friendship and help you receive from the whole group that really matters.

Back in St Lucia

After anchoring for breakfast and a snorkel in Anse Cochon we made our way to Marigot Bay to join the rest of the fleet. This is a rather nice marina with a lovely and quite large pool and all the facilities of the hotel available. They managed to find spaces formal of us stern to the dock. Anita got to climb Gros Piton with friends from Cayeuse, Mad Monkey and Lydia. We had a prize giving and dinner ar Chateau Mygo, also a Reunion dinner on Misto with our friends from the 2017 rally, Howard and Ros (Misto), Pia and Terje (Aurora Polaris), Helen and Martin (Laura Dawn, Owl, Misto, Aurora Polaris). We all got a fantastic welcome from the 2018 rally, but the friends from 2017 when we started the journey all new together will always be remembered.

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Grenada to St Lucia

A short cruise in company taking in Cariacou, Union Island, Mayreau, Tobago Cays, Bequia and finally back to St Lucia where we started World ARC 2 1/4 years ago in January 2017. Great beach BBQ on Sandy Island Cariacou with other World ARC yachts, swimming with turtles in beautiful Tobago Cays, revisiting old haunts in the Caribbean, Back in St Lucia climbing Gris Piton. Just the parade of sail from Marigot bay up to Rodney Bay to go.

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Grenada

We have been to this lovely island before – Timshel was laid up ashore in a yard in the South for the 2016 hurricane season. But of course most of the time we were there we were working hard either laying up the boat or getting it ready to sail again. This time we were in the rather nice marina at St George’s for a week. We had a really good island tour with a very informative guide, learning all about local politics, conservation, agriculture and why this is called the Spice Island – nutmeg and other spice trees in integrated forests with fruit trees such as Mango, coffee and cacao. Also visited a spectacular waterfall and had a swim in the pool, some also jumped in from a height but nothing like the local guy who somersaulted in from much higher rocks (for tips). The egg shells on the cactus plants outside a home are apparently meant to ward off zombies. Then there was the Rum tour, and later the Prizegiving dinner. Timshel was awarded a share of one of the fun prizes (guessing number of characters in names of first 10 boats to finish).

Brazil to Grenada

The last big passage of the World ARC. We started quite late, already dark due to delays waiting for Customs clearance and for the marina to help everyone out of the berths. The passage was mainly characterised by the stonking favourable current of at least 2 knots most of the time. Started off downwind but then on a reach getting great speeds over the ground, fairly hard work and rather bouncy though and some squalls giving rain sluicing down and increased wind., then one day with no wind at all. We crossed the equator back into the northern hemisphere in the middle of the night, I managed to miss the exact moment to take the screen shot but you can see we are crossing from the South Atlantic to the North Atlantic. Celebrated with chocolate, tossing a square over to appease Neptune as well.

We stopped briefly at Devils Island (of Papillon fame), which gave us a chance for some extra sleep and to deal with some of the accumulated job list, but unfortunately the 24 hours allowed did not give us enough time to be worth inflating the dinghy to go ashore then immediately deflating it to put it away again. In the end we left early in order to depart the islands in daylight.

The last few nights of the passage were under a brilliant full moon, it makes such a difference. We arrived off St George’s, Grenada, after nearly 14 days early in the morning, the wind died and it took an hour just about to cross the finish line under sail. At least it was light by the time we had done that and we were able to motor into the harbour and round to the marina to berth with the other WARC boats – the European ones anyway as most of the US boats have been put elsewhere as they need 110V electricity.