At 1200 on Saturday, they sounded the starting signal for The World ARC 2020 St Lucia to St Lucia, and we were off. It was a pretty damp and squally start to the whole thing - a bit like the Solent but with palm trees. But at least when it rains, it’s warm rain.
The reason you can see so many boats and they are so far away is because we’re in our usual tactical position. The back. Fools them every time.
Now - an explanation. Those of you following us on the tracker will no doubt be very impressed with our amazing high speeds, of anywhere between eight and ten knots. “They must be among the leaders,” you will be thinking. “If only they were going in the right direction.”
Perhaps you suspect we have some cunning Ben Ainslie style plan; head south then pick up a favourable current, or an unsuspected wind, and then nip in at the front right on the finish line to rapturous applause.
Alas, dear reader, the truth is far more mundane.
Our Voyage Around The World was all going really well. Right up until the first day. Well - to be precise, the first second of the first minute of the first hour of the first day of the first leg of our first circumnavigation.
It was just as we came to cast off our lines to go out into the anchorage ready for the start the next day, that we found one of our engines wasn’t working. The landlubbers amongst you might think, they’ve got two engines - why don’t they just use the spare? But unfortunately in a catamaran it’s not that simple. If you only have one engine you just keep going round in circles. We want to go round the world, not just round the bay forty three times.
So...we needed to get it fixed - and fast. The rally was going to begin in less than 24 hours!
We found St Lucia’s number one engineer, and it wasn’t long before we had a diagnosis; a duff MDI unit.
It doesn’t matter if you haven’t got the foggiest idea what one of those is. All you need to know is that the engine won’t work without it. In an emergency you can climb down into the engine compartment and hot wire it with bit of old cable, but you can’t go round the world doing that every time you come into port.
The only solution was to get a new one.
But unfortunately It turned out that in the whole of St Lucia there were no Mega Dodgy Interface units. Everyone else with a Volvo engine had already taken them. It’s a common fault. But what was worse is that It might take weeks for one to be delivered.
It looked like we weren’t going to be able to start - a bit like our engine.
As soon as Ju had stopped wailing and thumping the cushion, we sprang into action. Many phone calls and emails later, at last we tracked one down in Grenada. So that is where we went.
And hopefully they can fit it first thing on Monday morning. We will be sat on their doorstep at eight when they open.
And then - fingers crossed - we can start heading in the right direction.
Considering it’s all gone a bit Pete Tong, having to divert to Grenada is not the worst thing that has ever happened to us.
To Santa Marta and Beyond!
Ju & Lyn