Last days before St.Helena and our stay there

Dag 8: 17.01 – Loose nut on deck

Another calm night but some slamming of the main sail and a few squals which has washed away some salt and that is good.

The bread store in the freezer is gone and today will be my first attempt on baking bread without an owen. Sidsel baked it on her morning watch after I prepared it in a round cake baking form which was placed on top of a BBQ griddle with two layers of aluminum foil and a lid on top. Taste was good but the shape was a little flat.

When the boys were on deck for a sail adjustment they found a nut which the skipper quickly determined came from the main boom gooseneck where the also the bolt was almost out. And within a few minutes they had it back together before the boom (120 Kg) could fall off and do serious damage to the mast, kick, skylight or deck.
Even in good weather there is a lot of movement in the boat and we have experienced before that nuts are coming loose. Normally we do an inspection tour on deck before darkness every day but so far on this leg we have not done so due to the good weather hence from now it is on again

The day was event less apart from another small Dorado was caught, more sun and fish cakes being made in the galley. Sundowner in the cockpit as there is only 500nm left to go before St. Helena and we have today also passed the 0 longitude from east to west.

Day 9: 18.01 – Super night and a lacy day

Full moon and a bright sky full of stars made the night watch a joy to do. We have not seen any other ships for a few days and there is very little bird life only a school of flying fish now and then. One managed even to fly all the way down into the galley and was quickly put in the frying pan…. no it was actually thrown bak into the sea… wander what it thought afterwards, that is if actually can think?

Thinking and reading is what I believe most of us have done today as the boat heas been very quiet. School books has also been out. Our boat speed is also low due to the light conditions and today’s run was only 140nm

Day 10: 19.01 – Another lacy day

Another night with little wind but overcast all night. Only a few shower far away could be seen on the radar.
Today is Sunday according to the calendar and I hav to find something special for the crew and that is a challenge when I have no owen.

The sun never came out today and the crew has mostly stayed under deck reading. Still very light wind and all sort of sail combinations has been tried to sop the mainsail slamming when the boat rolls.
Dinner ended up as fried chicken and the crew was satisfied and no whispering of mutiny as far as can hear

Day 11: 20.01 – St. Helena rising out of the sea

Better wind tonight and les noise from the sails . at least on my watch.

In the afternoon we spoke to St.Helea on the VHF and was given Mooring buoy no 25 St. Helena radio operates 24/7 and their VHF has an incredible range. We have also seen a few other sailing boats around us heading the same way and we guess they are all part of the Oyster World Rally.

Before it got dark we could see the contours of St.Helena but it is still some hours to go. Sidsel felt these last miles have taken very long and is restless and exited about getting to this exotic place and does not manage to sleep before 0145 which was just minutes before I had to wake the rest of the crew to help with the mooring rope to the bouy –
12 boats were already there and we had to search through yhe entire area before we found our no 25.
With engine off, the sails stowed the quietness of the night surrounds us as we have a small celebration in the cockpit before we hit the sack.

St. Helena
After a few good hours sleep did we get up to find a very dramatic coastline with vertical mountain sides next to the boat. Customs, Immigration and Port Control all came onboard around 9 o’clock and cleared us in very efficient and gave us a warm welcome.

A small ferryboat which run back and forth between the yachts and the local work boats every hour then picked us up for our first venture to shore. There can be very large swell in the harbour and nobody uses their own dinghy and there is no place to leave it either as there is no breakwater protecting the harbour.
Ashore are we met by the Tourist office which has moved their office to the wharf due to the large number of Oyster yachts expected within the next few days.

We ended up booking a tour to the local distillery today and a guided tour tomorrow. The capitol of St.Helena, Jamestown, lays in a narrow valley and completely different from what we expected. There is only room for two main streets where the town houses are.

After we had our local money withdrawn from the bank (there are no ATM’s on the Island and they do not use credit card) was the first priority to find out what kind of fresh vegetables and fruit could be bought and we found some apples, and some basic veg.
The trip to the distillery became a success and several boxes left with us. They made their own cactus spirit, local gin from their own juniper, rum, and their own coffee liquor from coffee grown on th island

As we were to take the ferryboat back to Jenny were a few large fins spotted a hundred meter from the shore and we learned that there was a big population of Whale sharks there at he moment. Some of the people had snorkeled with them and eve caught a lift by holding on to their fins. Tour with local boats were arranged but we did not find the time for that this time.

The next day the weather had cleared up a bit and our tour guide took us on the back of his old pick up to see the house where Napoleon lived from 1815 to his death in 1821 at the age of 52. It was a very nice house and did not look at all like a prison. They told us that there were guards outside the hose but he was allowed to ride around on the island and both his family and some of his admirals was with him.

Thee people of the island are very welcoming and all greets you and wish you welcome with a large smile. In 2016 St,Helena will be more accessible as they are building a full size airport on the east side of the Island
This will ofcourse be of great benefit for the people but the island will certainly change character and we are very happy to have been there before the firs plane has landed.

Thursday morning did we clear out the paperwork and did our last shopping for the last leg towards Brazil. It takes some time to shop in a place kike this as we found grapes in one shop, apples in another, and bananas in the third and so on. Eggs which I saw yesterday was all gone which is typical I should by now have learned that when you see something you need buy it. Also managed to find 5 brown bread that made me happy as we never had time to have someone help us with fixing he owen, it was more important to see the island.

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