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The Sailing for Sustainability Campaign - Week 5 - Arrival!
December 25, 2005

Dear Friends:
Merry Christmas! We arrived today on Christmas morning at Rodney Bay on the island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean. Hooray! We crossed what would have been the finish line at 11:57:44 UTC which is 7:57:44 AM local time. The finish line did not actually exist as all of the ARC staff had left by the 21st of December to be back with their families for the holidays, but we had the Lat/Lon for where the ARC committee boat and finish line would have been, and we passed the imaginary boat to starboard. Our crossing from the Cape Verde Islands took 14 days, 22 hours and 40 minutes. We had spent a total of 12 days in Mindelo, Cape Verde Islands repairing our boat and had taken nine days to sail from the Canary Islands to the Cape Verde Islands. In total we were at sea for 24 days and, including our lay over, our trip lasted 36 days.
The last four days of our journey were wonderful and flowed easily one into the other. During the daytime, the weather was sunny, partly cloudy and warm. At night, we continued to encounter occasional rain showers and squalls, and watched the waning moon rise on the horizon, glowing orange amid rings of dark clouds, and then light up the ocean as it pierced through the clouds. The trade winds were 15-20 knots, gusting to 25-28 knots as we neared St. Lucia, and Speranza galloped along averaging more than 7 knots.
During the four days we sailed dead down wind with the main and genoa wing and wing, paralleling the 15 degree North latitude line. We only had to gybe twice as we approached the north end of the island of St. Lucia. We continued to have 5 - 6 foot rolling swells from astern combined with a pattern of smaller waves from the north, which gave us a rollicking ride. When we were not on watch, we enjoyed reading, napping, studying weather data, doing laundry, taking sun showers, practicing tying knots, taking sun sights, and just hanging out with each other in the cockpit. Our skipper summed it up nicely in the daily log for December 22, "It's been a longer trip than expected and everyone has a little stress from deadlines missed, but the sailing has been great and the company of the crew with great meals and entertaining conversation has made for a fabulous trip."
Today it is nice to be on dry land at last. The temperature here at noon is a balmy 87F with 63 percent humidity. The hills surrounding this protected harbor are verdant green, almost as green as the ocean we have been sailing over for so long is blue (an unbelievable azure blue). So far we have only scouted out the marina, cleared customs and taken a wonderful shower with copious amounts of warm water which was a luxury in comparison to the few meager squirts of water that we had to bathe with on Speranza. Over the next few days we plan to clean up the boat and explore the island.
When we all get back to Oakland in mid-January, we will put a selection of our best photos online in a photo album and will send you the link. In the meantime, we send our love and gratitude to all of you who have been our faithful supporters during this great adventure.
Happy holidays to all of you,
The Speranza Crew