Arriving back in the Caribbean is a bit like coming home for Ryan and I, having spent a good 10 years on and off here. Of course the rum punch should come with a warning, tastes like 2% actual potency 45%. You’d think we would’ve learnt this by now, apparently not.
We slowed the boat a little towards the end of the crossing in order to arrive in the daylight, and we crossed the finish line just as the sun was peeking over the island. We short tacked into Rodney Bay donning Christmas hats and feeling distinctly proud of ourselves. The boat we have been neck and neck with across the Atlantic, ” recipe ” had finished a few hours earlier and they were at anchor near the finish, so we got to the marina first and can honestly say we were first to the bar, so clearly we were the true winners!
We were met at the dock at 7.30 in the morning with a hug from the ARC organisers and a basket of fruit and yup you’ve guessed it, a rum punch, bit early for that, but y’know when in Rome! The girls devoured the lovely fresh bananas and we got the beanbags out onto the dock to enjoy just doing nothing for an hour or so, delightful! It was really lovely to see so many other boats that we had befriended in Gran Canaria and Mindelo and many stories of the crossing were exchanged.
I cannot speak enough of my pride in my children for how they coped with 15 days at sea. They smashed it. Resilient, resourceful, self sufficient and just a pleasure to be around, I am in awe of their patience and stoicism. I did not hear “are we nearly there yet” even once, it was truly remarkable. I have heard similar sentiments from other family boats, perhaps being at sea just brings out an unspoken strength, but I can tell you I was both relieved and astonished in equal measures.
Of course the kids have loved being on terra firma again and amongst other things have been swimming, dancing, playing with friends, paddle boarding, mud bathing, zip-wiring and sightseeing interspersed with a smattering boat school. St Lucia is fabulous and everything that the Caribbean should be. Sophie has embraced her roots (having been born in Antigua) and has tried jerk curry which she thought was delicious. All the girls enjoyed a traditional Caribbean feed, loving the rice n peas, bbq meat, smashed pumpkin, coleslaw and especially the mac n cheese…. mmmmm.
An old school friend is holiday-ing on island so we enjoyed de-passage-ing the boat, blowing up the paddle boards, getting the dinghy down and the snorkel gear out and turning the boat from a serious offshore vessel into fun mode! We spent the day at anchor messing around in the water and enjoying island time.
We are leaving tomorrow for Dominica then straight to Antigua. Lots to do to prepare for Christmas. The tree is up, but there’s nothing under it at the moment!!
We are so looking forward to showing the girls Antigua, our home for over 4 years, they will get to meet their surrogate Antiguan grandma again and see where Sophie was born, it’ll be emotional, we may need a rum punch to get through it!!