St. Lucia also has the distinction of being the finishing port for the ARC, the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, and for the World ARC. We had the opportunity to see some of the boats that completed the Round the World ARC 2012-2013. Though we walked the docks, stopped to look at many of the boats, and loosely attempted to engage some of the participants in conversation, they seemed to be a bit of a close knit, closed clique of sailors. Perhaps Joy’s scooter put them off, thinking we were some odd cruise ship groupies or something; we’re not really sure of the dynamic, but after the first couple of attempts, we gave up. We’re not much for these organized events anyways, so we felt no huge loss, but we do always enjoy talking with real cruisers. I’m not sure racing around the world in a year meets that definition for us.
This Beneteau 50 slowly motored past our dock, then held position off our stern waiting his turn to dock along with the remainder of the 30 plus other ARC boats. Directly behind him came another larger, fancier ARC competitor yelling and screaming at him to move along and get out of the way. I couldn’t quite figure it out – 26,000 miles to get here and now the guy’s in some kind of an almighty rush to tie to the dock. Was he unable to control his yacht in the dead calm conditions, or was he about to run out of fuel or what? His inane actions made no sense to us.
It was an opportunity though, to have a close up look at the boats taking part in this event, a round the world, trade winds circumnavigation of the world requiring about 15 months to complete, both beginning and ending in St. Lucia.
Joy and I wandered the docks looking at the types of boats that took part, taking general note of types of equipment we saw and the overall condition of the boats. Most appeared to be well cared for and looked no worse for the voyage. A few looked as if they’d had a rough day or two along the way.