Marc Guillemot and Samantha Davies finish their race.
At approximately 10AM Marc Guillemot (Safran) reached the finish line followed by Samantha Davies (Roxy) at 11PM.
Steve's blog Number 14. - Sailing with company.
Yesterday was a perfect evening, the boat trundling along nicely, flat sea,
cool wind, perfect sunset and straight down the line towards Boston out of
the counter currents of the Gulf Stream. A beautiful sunset preceded a clear
cold night with a full panoramic view of the stars in all of their glory,
with no light pollution to take the edge off those closest to the horizon as
you get at home. When I was on deck at one point the dolphins came back
again - I watched them briefly and then went to get the video camera,
because even though it was dark and the sea seemed at first to have much
less life than the Gulf Stream, the dolphins where leaving bioluminescent
trails - you could see the outline of their heads, fins and down their
backs, from there the outline blurred into phosphorescence, like torpedoes
of light leaving a 30 metre trail of stars in their wake. When I returned
with the camera, they had gone.
The deck floodlight I use to see the sail trim bought my constant companions of the past few days,the petrels, a little closer - they must get confused by the light, and come down onto the deck for a while.They are the size of a starling, with pointy wings and a flight in some ways like a bat's. It is how tame they are that is incredible - they won't go away until after you turn the lights off, but as they flit around leaving little puffs of dust from their feathers, you can pick them up with an open hand to help them get to where they want to go - when they've had enough they just jump out of your hand and back onto the deck. They smell like they've been living in somebody's loft, all sort of fusty, but I think they are my favourite birds, and quite how such a small creature stays so dry it's dusty out here and survives some of the weather that happens is nothing short of a miracle.
All these many special moments you get on any ocean crossing, all of the emotions you feel and the simplicity of the way of life out here are bought sharply into focus for me as we get within a stones throw of land and the end of the race. In some ways I feel could go on forever, or at least cross the finishing line and turn straight for home to see the family, but that wouldn't be fair on my Dad who is waiting there for me. You can see why Bernard Moittessier did what he did during the Golden Globe - I am a long way from being made of the same stuff as him, and I have commitments ashore that are absolutely of my own choosing, and it will be good to get back to them refreshed and feeling alive once again. We have some very pressing issues at home and I need to get back to them as Kim is firefighting on her own at the moment.
Cerne Abbas School in Dorset, where my two small boys go, have been avidly following the race. It takes Kim up to an hour now to do the school run as other parents and the staff all want a first hand account of the days happenings. It's great that they are so keen - they have wallcharts and everything, and I'm sure and I hope that many other schools are following the race too. (If not why not!) If nothing else I think that kids should be taught that if they want badly enough and work hard enough anything is possible. My careers teacher in Derbyshire thought that I should have been designing washers in a washer factory somewhere I think, and a few years ago I was mocked for buying Yachting World; "Why do you want to buy that, everything in there is so out of reach". They were both wrong. Very wrong.
Yesterday I had a few good meals - the last half dozen eggs, a tin of baked beans and pita breads followed by an industrial tin of rice pudding have really got me sorted out. I feel 110% today, and am looking forward to a fast finish into Boston!