Day 15: 23 November 2016
Most of our last full day at sea was spent contemplating our arrival the next morning. After crossing so many miles, over so many days, it was a bit surreal to understand that land might (should!) appear over the horizon and that we would be in a new continent, new island group, and with new people.
After a morning of slalom-skiing around rain clouds with shifty winds, the winds finally settled down and we began our final run to Barbados. We slowed down a little, trying to average about 5 knots, so that we could arrive near the island at sun rise the following morning (concluding our 15th day at sea).
The first confirmation that we received that we were generally in the right area of Barbados was a hail on the VHF radio by a local fisherman. He was delighted to see another boat nearby and gave us a very friendly welcome to Barbados! It was fun to chat with the fisherman in English, and his cheerful Bajan accent and overly friendly attitude was a wonderful hint to the fun times we hoped would be ahead.
As dusk set, we were about 60 miles away from Barbados. When darkness came, and our eyes adjusted to the light, we were able to see a faint glow of light in the clouds ahead of us. This was the first true sign that our GPS’s had worked and we had found land!
At around 8 AM the next morning (24 Nov), we pulled around the south side of the islands, avoiding the shoals and swift currents. Shortly thereafter, we received a lovely greeting by a welcome committee on pontoon boat sent from the Barbados 50 rally. They escorted us into the customs/immigration dock and took our dock lines. We had officially crossed the Atlantic Ocean, and we had much to be thankful for on the morning of US Thanksgiving!