Despite several boats still at sea when the awards got underway, it was a very festive atmosphere on the beachside deck at Nanny Cay Marina. Crews that had been sweaty and salty for nearly two weeks at sea showed up in their shoreside best, with matching crew shirts and tropical island colors. After the crowd gathered round the bar for a quick beer or rum punch, the awards got going in earnest just before 5pm, as the sun was disappearing behind the hillsides in the west, offering up a much needed respite from the brutal afternoon heat.
Despite what I sometimes think of as the ‘propaganda’ that we post in the news and features during the 1500 (and I’m myself responsible for producing it), I feel we ought to focus at least occasionally on some of the more unfortunate realities of ocean sailing. Namely, not everyone is, or will be, partying in the Virgin Islands when this thing is all said and done.
While eight boats have made their arrival in Nanny Cay, taking advantage of the more easterly winds of the past few days, the smaller boats towards the back of the Caribbean 1500 fleet remain stuck in a southeasterly. It will be several days until the rest of them make their landfall. Photo shows Lone Star's arrival yesterday evening.
It's been mostly uneventful in the first few days of the Caribbean 1500 - exactly the way you want your ocean passages to go. But not entirely uneventful. An injured hand on Euro Trash Girl and engine trouble on Heart's Desire are the two big stories as the 1500 fleet heads farther offshore. Otherwise, the wind is calm and the fish are on!
Lee Cumberland, crew member aboard the catamaran 'Tandem II' in the 2014 Caribbean 1500 rally, write about what he's learned over the past year sailing on offshore deliveries. How to pack, where to sleep, how to act and what to do if you're new to the offshore sailing game. Lee sailed with Andy last spring on a few deliveries to and from New England.
So what goes on during the hectic week leading up to the start of a long offshore voyage? Lyall Burgess and Pete Burch have been focusing on completing the safety inspections as efficiently as possible for those boats that have arrived early. This got off to a great start on Saturday, with Lone Star, the veteran ARC Rally participant, having the honor of the first safety check to get completed on the first try. Photo shows the crews of Tom Tom and Oblivion at Skipjack Nautical Wares for last night's happy hour.