So we anchored out just under Pigeon Island at the north west tip of the island and dinghied ashore to explore the old British fort.
The hot climb was rewarded by wonderful cocktails in a little beach bar before we returned to Maunie and began our Stormvogel watch. We knew they would be arriving in the early hours and sure enough heard Peter radioing the finish line boat at about 01.45 so we weighed anchor and motored over to meet them as they crossed the line.
Stormvogel's gearbox was broken and the ARC team had not been able to organise a night-time towing vessel so we had already emailed Peter to say we'd offer our services. Veteran readers of this blog will know that we towed them into Porto Santo when their engine flooded with seawater so we'r old hands at this tugboat game now. As soon as they crossed the finish line we tied up alongside them and motored both boats into the marina when the ARC berthing team had reserved an 'easy' pontoon berth. It all went without a hitch so were able to gently put them alongside the pontoon to tie up, with several people having got out of bed to welcome them. The rum punch and beer party carried on for a couple of hours! It was great to see Peter, Heidi and Hendrick again and to hear, first hand, what they went through on the night of what we are now calling 'the incident'. Stormvogel's steering binnacle, held together with duct tape,bears witness to the ferocity of the storm; fortunately the injuries, particularly to Hendrick's leg, were not too serious.
So this morning has been 'slow'! Rich managed to get up at 8.00am to go diving (not sure how) and, having refueled Maunie and returned to our pontoon, we're not making a lot of progress but just enjoying the chance to relax. We'll have a final crew meet up tonight or tomorrow (Fergus and family fly home in the evening) then have the final prizegiving party tomorrow night. After that we'll head out for a different anchorage and are now planning where to spend Christmas. Before then, we'll need to restock on provisions; the local supermarket can be accessed by dinghy and our fruit and veg is delivered to the boat by Gregory in his splendid vessel:
Best wishes from the Maunie Crew