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The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers

Travel & news discussion about St. Lucia

The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers

Postby KarenS » Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:11 am

From Cruising World by Mark Pillsbury: "Someone must have gone to great lengths to fool Mother Nature. So just in case delightful trade-wind sailing had lulled anyone in the 20th Anniversary of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers into forgetting that she deals the cards at sea, Ma parked a stationary front just to the east of St. Lucia for several days last December and gave arriving sailors one more wallop for good measure before the rum drinks were handed out in Rodney Bay.

From the git-go, weather was the word for last fall's 2,700-mile Atlantic crossing, which started November 20 in Las Palmas, on Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. Those who stuck to the north met up with a pair of late-season tropical storms that blasted damaging winds across their decks for days. Those who headed south along the African coast in search of elusive trade winds had ample time to polish light-air sailhandling skills, as they had to wait 10 days for the fan to be turned on.

For some, it was a mad, 15-day dash to the Caribbean; for others, it was a more leisurely sail (maddeningly so, in some cases) that took 25 days and longer to complete. Along the marina docks, each skipper in the 224-boat fleet had a story to tell, and you could be damn sure wind, rain, lightning, or waves factored into it."
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