It's been a busy few days since arriving overnight early Monday morning, having drifted over the Finish line from Ogden Pt, at the entrance to Victoria Harbour, in a light land breeze that saved me from being becalmed a third night running! I'd had a great sail in a good W wind during the afternoon, leading up to a glorious sunset soon after rounding the disturbed water by Race Rock, where I gather my AIS signal suddenly disappeared for no apparent reason, worrying quite a few friends keeping an eye on my progress.... Lots of cheering and noise as I crossed the line, from the two boats nearby and from the end of the breakwater. Many thanks to all those supporters who waited around for a long time into the small hours to greet me after such a prolonged and frustrating delay - and to the many who presented me in the morning with lots of fresh fruit and flowers - lovely and much appreciated!
Mark of 'Prince of Whales' took 'Nereida' alongside his boat full of friendly faces and safely delivered us to our Causeway slip within sight of the impressive Empress Hotel and the Parliament building.
I got to my bunk as dawn was breaking and at 8am, a pair of very friendly Customs officials arrived, so not much sleep - but it didn't seem to affect my high spirits and general well-being - I was on a high!!
By 10am, people were beginning to gather for the 10.30 'Press conference' which started with an unexpected presentation of an O.C.C. Award for my circumnavigation. There were quite a few cameras and microphones as I answered a lot of questions about my journey, with several people later being shown around 'Nereida' afterwards, with more questions and answers. The Harbour Authority have been very helpful over radio interviews, giving me use of their phone for those, as well as being helpful over Internet access while my computers had a problem.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first full night back on shore, with a lovely soak in a hot tub and a big, soft bed to sleep in after a nice meal - courtesy of Spinnakers. Many thanks to Jak Mang for his help posting my daily 'blogs' and photos - especially more recently - and also to Mike (N7RY) and Robert (WA6AMK) & particularly Lor (W3QA) for help with position reports and to Rick (VE7TK) for his recent help with my 'blogs'.
I would like to thank Mark and Alan of "Prince of Whales' for their help and generosity during both my start and finish and John Green for coming out to meet me near Race Rock and staying close despite the lack of wind for quite a time. Also Ian Grant, who put a lot of time and effort into organising the details surrounding my arrival, and the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority who donated my slip for the week.
A lot of very friendly and supportive people have come by 'Nereida' over the week or have stopped me as I've passed by them around the Waterfront here - it's been great to chat to them all - and I was grateful when two Canadian Navy officers came by to sort out my computer Internet access problem - word had got out about that and they were asked to come over to see if they could help - thanks to their commanding officer, Cdr Mark Sheppard. Others generously donating help have included the Royal Victoria Y.C., Shawn Dunand of Vela Yachts and Dave Irving at Westport Marina (where 'Nereida' is to be hauled out and placed on the hard this coming week, so that a start can be made on boatwork - lots of TLC needed to get her back into order and looking pretty...). CMC came over from Burnaby to sort out my Raymarine instrumentation - thanks to them and to Derek Gilbert for that - and several friends have seen to quite a bit of laundry for me - thanks!
My 'email team' of cheerful, helpful amateur radio operators are now out of a job - very many thanks to Rick (WA1RKT), Tom (N5TW) and Jim (WB2REM) for all their time and help with that since 11th May up to my landfall... Tom was hoping for 1000 hits - Did we make it? If we didn't, We got very close!
Weather here in Victoria has been consistently sunny and I'm hoping slowly to get 'Nereida'back in order - lots to do and it will take quite a time to organise.
I've been asked by quite a few people for photos and videos of my arrival and news - so below I've listed a variety I've come across.
Thanks to many of you reading this for your ongoing support -I've really appreciated that as I've sailed around.