Ariadne has arrived in Tortola. She covered the 2900 or so miles from Madeira at a decent pace and the crossing took less than the expected three weeks. The delivery crew did a good job and I am grateful to them for her safe delivery. Now alongside at her new home on TMM’s dock she is getting ready for the charter life ahead.
Over the course of the next few weeks she will be converted from her ‘factory delivery' state to a ‘charter ready’ state. She will be fitted with a hardtop bimini on the fly bridge, locally made cushions for the lounging areas will be added as well as a sail cover bag, again locally sourced. To help with keeping the batteries charged solar panels will be fixed to the top of the bimini. We have opted for the inclusion of a propane fueled bbq grill, as opposed to charcoal and that will be fitted as well. Finally she will complete her registration process on the Virgin Islands part of the British Register of Shipping and be formally Carved and Marked as per the entry in the Registry. This is necessary for her to receive her Blue Book.
We will be getting out to see her in a few weeks. The necessary bottle of champagne will be smashed over (a solid part of) her hull, and we will wish her well for a life of cruising and relaxing! This custom of breaking a champagne bottle has its roots in all sorts of nautical lore that seems to include, in very much earlier times, the slaughter of oxen or sheep, religious men sprinkling holy water across every yard and spar on board, and a curious custom of heaving a standing cup over the side as a ship ran down the slipway on launch. Nowadays a champagne bottle seems to do the trick, and who are we to argue with that! On balance - maybe a Pussers Rum bottle would be more appropriate…
Fair winds to Ariadne, and all her guests for the future!