We had been in daily communication with Gromits at sea and were tracking their progress. We arrived at the anchorage a couple days ahead of them and began to prepare for their arrival. I made them a huge welcoming sign out of a shower curtain and colored duct tape I had found in Dominica. The sign read, "GROMIT We Love you Tour De Monde" which means around the world.
The joy I felt was overwhelming. I knew they must be close. Liam got on the radio and he was also equally excited. Our conversation was interrupted though by a whale! Liam said, "Oh sorry guys I have to run, Dad says there is a whale next to us." Lol, you don’t hear that very often!
Finally around 9am they came around the bend and we could see them out at sea. We couldn't contain ourselves anymore and we raced out to them in the dinghy. The seas were pretty high though for the dinghy and finally we decided we just had to sit and wait for them to come to us. The longest few minutes EVER.
At last we were zooming around Gromit and they were all running around the deck waving and smiling. Mike was at the bow ensuing the anchor was ready just in case anything went wrong with the mooring and Cornelia was at the helm looking so happy. The kids were taking pictures and waving excitedly. We guided them to their ball and helped to tie them up directly beside us. Not a moment after the line was tied the Gromit kids (Zoe, Maia and Liam) were in the water. I was shocked how quickly. Alex had his clean clothes on so he stripped off his shorts in an effort to keep them salt free but in his excitement they looped around his toe as he jumped in. We were all laughing. Amelia was going to go get her bathing suit but she couldn't contain herself and all of sudden she was in the water. Best welcoming ever.
Graham and I jumped on board Gromit and Cornelia and I hugged in a mess of tears and relief.
They had done it. They had just completed their longest passage ever, over 4000 nm in 31 days. They had sailed around the world. An unbelievable 7 year odyssey. Even though the official point where their around the world line joins is somewhere near Cuba, I think they are close enough to celebrate! I am seriously in awe of this family. We all made our way over to Salty Ginger and talked, hugged, ate, swam and were just basically riding the high for the whole day, for the whole week for that matter. The week was awesome. Dinners on each other’s boats and cruiser get togethers on the beach, swimming, kayaking, hiking, shopping, sleep overs and adventures.
It feels so wonderfully familiar to be together again on the sea. The Gromits feel like family. It will be fun to navigate North together through the Caribbean and all the way back to the Chesapeake.
I am so looking forward to our first sail together!