Barrouallie resident Kirk Grant has become the first Vincentian to take part in the annual Atlantic Race to the Caribbean (ARC).
The ARC, which is now in its 30th year, sees over 200 yachts and over 1,000 persons participating in the race, which travels from Las Palmas, Spain, to Rodney Bay, St Lucia.
Grant told SEARCHLIGHT that while the race was difficult, he enjoyed himself and the experience.
“It was not easy, to be honest it was not easy.”
“It was a great experience for me, it was a really, really great experience. There are times when I feel away…but I don’t really pay it no mind, because I know there is no other islands where they can put me off, if I feel like I want to go home or if I feel sick. The first day it was over 35-40 knots of wind with six metres of wave for the first week into the second week,” Grant also stated.
Upon arriving in Las Palmas, the seasoned tourism worker told SEARCHLIGHT that he joined the Prua Vida, which was captained by Bridgette Walter, and he noted that the first few days were the hardest.
“The fifth night I worked from one in the night to four in morning…the fifth night I heard the captain say ‘she get me,’ which mean a wave come from behind and swept the boat, so the whole of the cockpit was full of water. And that was 11 minutes to 12, so that was scary because I know within the next few minutes is my turn, so I say ‘boy this is trouble’,” he stated.
“…I go out, put on my life jacket and when I go I see a lady…she was wet from head to toe. That night was real rough for me, real tough. I have the wheel and a wave have me like it pushing me one side going and I just hold it and I say ‘Father God just give me the strength’,” Granted stated as his most frightening moment.
The father of five also disclosed that while his family was happy for him, he was not able to keep in contact with them as often as he have would liked.
“My family was happy because tourism is my work, so it is not really so much a stress to them…they were happy; but we have a satellite phone…it takes me three full weeks before any of my family can know what’s going on.”
Grant says while he enjoyed his journey and had a great experience, he isn’t too eager to do it again, anytime soon.
“…I will go back, but maybe in the next two or three years.”
The race began on November 22, 2015 took Grant 21 days to complete, with his boat Prua Vida placing 78th in their category and 2nd for most dolphins caught.(CM)