Pre-dawn in St. Lucia

Nix crew were in a festive mood
despite the early hour.
"Cheers Nico!"

The crew of Nix, an X-612, was in a celebratory mood this morning. Mia and I went out to I-dock to greet them, only minutes after they had bested the bigger Swan 62 Acool Turabi across the finish line. It was close - only one and a half minutes separated the two boats - but Nix came out on top. 

From our post in the ARC office, we listened in on the radio to a rather humorous exchange between the two boats and the ARC finish line (which consists of a network of former participants who have volunteered for the job - this year there are seven boats who want to help, so the marina set up a permanent mooring on the south end of the line to make it easier for boats to swap watches. Each is responsible for a twenty-four hour shift). Acool Turabi evidently had a beter VHF onboard, and was communicating regularly with the finish line, while Mia and I listened in from the office. As they crossed and the finish line boat announced their arrival over the radio, Acool Turabi came back again - "we have not crossed the finish line yet!" The finish line crew had seen Nix cross the line first.

The welcome procedure is a nice one here. Along with Johnny, a local St. Lucian who is working the night shift for the Tourism Board, and his rum punch, Mia and I strolled out onto I-dock with handheld radios and Nick's new flashing LED light to guide Nix in. Acool Turabi elected to anchor out after nearly running aground before even attempting to enter the channel (they draw 13 feet...). Nix has done the ARC before, but set a personal best for the 2,800 mile course this year, which delighted skipper Nico and the rest of his crew, who were all dressed for the occasion in their clean white polos. They did not stay clean for long though once the champagne started flowing.

Click to see recent news from the ARC.