We departed St Helena on 27 Jan 2017 early in the morning. Last night we had changed our mind again about our next destination. We were headed to Fernando de Noronha, a small island 300 kms off the coast of Brazil. We had met a lot of friends in St Helena and hoped we would see them again on our trip either in Fernando de Noronha, Grenada, or … Two of the yachts were Adina and Belafonte (Canadian couple).
We are have good sailing from St.Helena to Fernando de Noronha. First day we go fast and make 214 km and after this wind go down and the next 8 days we go very slow, with only 130 to 160 km per day. But this very good for fishing. Some day we are have very nice fishing days.
One day we are catch very scary and very ugly fish (type of Snoek I believe)
After this we go 10 more days more fast making 170 to 220 km per day. We go faster and like more but be hard every 3 hours drive boat. Our autopilot stop working before we come to St.Helena. Water come inside to autopilot and this why he just stop working. I love sailing and some days you see very nice sun set.
I have my shift for drive with 12 am to 3 am. Marion just finish her time for drive 12 am and go sleep. This is 16 February time close to 1 am and big wave coming. Marion sleep with open window and all water come on her. She scared and come very fast. She thinking storm coming and I need her help. After she see I’m fine and understand everything what happened she try clean her room and make her self dry. This take maybe 1 hour. Moon stay full and I see everything what happened.
Tim awake and take his shift 3 am. But after 2 hours drive he awake me and say we need close genoa because big wind coming. This take couple minutes for I coming and we see this already storm coming very big rain and wind. Close genoa we be very wet. Every one coming to salon and nobody don’t want go to sleep.
Day be very good we have great wind and go very fast. After to Island stay 1 hour drive and we very good start see land again big rain coming. We stop see land. We close genoa but we no start go more slow steal have very high speed. One just what good rain stop after 10 minutes and we start again see island. Moon be full but after rain we have fog and we are see where to go but not clear. After we start see boats we decide not go very close to them. We drop anchor and stop for night in Fernando de Noronha. We have couple beer and go sleep. Finish our 3200 km!
March 4 we start sailing in the morning around 8 am. As we left a cruise chip arrived at Royal island.
Sailing from Devil’s Island to Grenada was great. Every day we enjoy nice sailing. Wind changed and we go not very slow but waves are on the side of us. Boat rocks more than before. Still the sailing is good . We always go not to fast round 8-10 km per hour and always have good fishing. Some day we catch fish that clean big fish (suckerfish).
Take maybe a couple hours to get this fish from hook. We don’t want touch it and just drop back to water. Some day we catch fish that are good for eating
We see Tobago but I don’t have visa and so we do not stop there for a couple days.
We see crazy small boat in ocean between Grenada and Tobago.
Just one day sailing from Tobago to Grenada. We arrive at Grenada on 10 March around 10 am.
Call to port control and they said we need to go to yacht club or to Marina. We decide to go to the Marina. They have very big dock and our boat look small in that dock.
We have finished our long trip from South Africa!
We arrive at Royal’s Island 2 March at 1 am local time. Dropped anchor close to a cargo ship, had a beer and go sleep. We awake around 7 morning and move boat closer to the island. Royal island is very small and only a couple sailboat close to it.
First day we are go on the island and walk round. This is very small island where before they have a prison and kids cemetery.
These islands don’t have port control or store. Island have just one bar (in hotel) but very expensive. It takes maybe 2 hours to walk around the whole island.
Walking around the island we found a lot of coconuts. We see monkey and something that look like a rat. We decide not take dinghy to Devil’s island because there is a very big current and our dinghy motor is to small for it.
Island very small but every day 2 big catamaran coming from Brazil and bring maybe 30 people each one. March 4 we are awake in morning and start our sailing to Grenada. A big cruise chip arrived at the Island just before we left.
We are awake early and Tim drove Marion to the beach in the dinghy, it was her last night with us. Yesterday we checked-out of Fernando de Noronha and said we are living before 7 morning so that we don’t pay for one more day. They have crazy price 80 USA dollars per night. After Marion go, Tim come back we take dinghy out, take anchor up and go. I think this around 9 am local time.
Because we are don’t have Marion anymore we use the autopilot and are happy just us together on the boat. We take turn on autopilot during the day. Just between 8 pm to 8 am we are have shift for driving boat. If autopilot drive still always need check that it stays on course as sometimes the wind or current can be such that it cannot hold a certain direction. I usually take shift from 8 pm to 2 am and Tim with 2 am to 8 am. We have great time together. We are fishing and watch movies in the evening.
February 21 we caught a very big dolphinfish but while I’m cutting it the fish have nerve and I cut my finger very bad. I think I have small shock because I’m steal finish make fillet with this fish. Thank you Tim he help me with this.
After cut my finger we have one week with out fishing. We start fishing again with only 2 days left to Devil’s Island. We caught a couple tuna but not very big and just drop them back.
We arrived at Devil’s Island on 2 march at 1 am local time. We are lucky and always come to Island in night. Come close to Island in night and see in front of us big cargo ship on anchor so we drop anchor close to this cargo ship and go sleep. In morning we are awake and go closer to the Island. There are a couple sail boat there as well. On the Island they don’t have check in and stay anchored for free.
15 February I awake very early maybe around 6 am. Tim still sleeps and I go outside on My MissChief we have a little morning breeze. Come on board I think we are little out from where we drop anchor yesterday night, but because wind some time direction little changed. I come back in salon and start make tea for me and Marion and coffee for Tim. He up after I come back to salon. I told hem everything good and we are talk, have breakfast and try make plan for today. After breakfast he go outside and see we are moving. For 1 hour boat moved for 6 kilometers from where I see we are be in morning. We are fast take anchor and again move boat close to all boats.
We are try call to port control but they did not answer. But couple from boat Adina call to us and ask for we drive them on our dinghy to port control too. Their motor stop working and they need help. We put our dinghy in the water and go to Adina get couple. Have waves and to port control every one come very wet. In port control Marco gift for every one coffee every time for you coming to hem. He do all paper what need and put us in his car and drive to immigration. Because I’m from Ukraine I no need visa but Tim need visa for Brazil. But we did not open visa for him before come to Island. This need go to another city in South Africa and we are be to lazy. We are thinking for couple days on the island maybe they gift for Tim visa there but immigration say no he not allowed to be on the Island. But this fine if he stay just in port for couple days. That island is very expensive for just stay in port. There need to pay for everyday boat stay there and for every person who stay on the boat too. This why we are decided just stay 2 nights. This why first day we are stay on the port. Port have 4 restaurants and 3 souvenir shops. But not just stay on the Island very expensive. Everything there very expensive too. We stay in port have dinner there and drink some local beer.
Next day we decide before we are go tomorrow we need more diesel. Take to cans with us we are decided go to the beach not on the jetty because there more close to gas station. This to be our first time what we are coming to the beach. Tim drive dinghy and I decided jump on sand. Water very clear and I think we are already on sand jump out and be all wet because the water is still very deep. Stay very wet maybe 20 minutes in my jeans short and t-short I understand for finish day I’m still be wet. This why I take Tim to souvenir store and buy dress. After we see our friends from Canada who sailing on the sailboat Belafonte. We are meet them in St.Helena. After stay with them couple hours and have lunch we go buy diesel. Put diesel down to the beach on dinghy we are ready to come back to the boat. We try pushing the dingy to water but big waves push us back. This why on the dinghy start be a lot sand and water and we again be very wet. Come back to boat every one change clothes and we go again to land. This evening we are decided go to the best bar on the island. This take us maybe 30 min walk from the port to the another bar what we are every evening see with our boat.
Come down to the beach we are see there many different bars. First we are go walk and see everything what they have there. Find pizza restaurant and decided have dinner there and after go for some bar, but they start working 6 pm and our time be just 5 pm. Again go looking for some different place for have dinner little earlier. Again start rain and we try first decide where we are. Find nice bar order some drink and pizza find they don’t have pay with credit card. They stop make for us our order because we don’t have cash. They have just 2 bank on the island and close round 5 pm. Again need go looking for bar where no need cash. Walking again start big rain and we see bank go in there ATM machine. We are be very happy take cash and come back to same bar that we find. They just see we are back start again make our other. This nice they still remember what we order there. After we have dinner and a lot of drinks need come back to boat. Outside big rain and need walk maybe 40 minutes, 10 with them some like forest. We are start walk and see some people have taxi. So we are run to first bur what be close to us and asked them to order for us taxi. We are wait maybe 15 minutes and taxi drive us to our port. Go out taxi for a couple minutes and we are very wet again. Come to dinghy this be not very fun because motor not start maybe 10 minutes. This 10 minutes feeling like forever. Big rain and wind. Feel cold and very wet. Something wrong with that Island everyone who we know have problem with engine for dinghy. After engine start be fun drive dinghy in night and with big rain not to good to see where we are drive maybe 7-8 minutes and try fiend our boat. This good we are come back to boat good. In morning we are need start sailing and Marion fly to Natal. In morning Tim take Marion to land and after he come back we take dinghy out, up anchor and go. In front of us wait 2460 kilometers to Devil’s Island.
Having sailed 2800 km from Cape Town, we arrived at St. Helena on January 19 at 17:00 the port control was already closed. But still they answered and said that they will come at 9 am in the morning and that we will moor at buoys No. 15. It was funny because the number could only be seen from the top when you are close to it. First you had to choose which one to go to first. We safely moored and rejoiced that we can rest because after 10 days of navigation. The autopilot had stopped working and we had to steer the catamaran manually for the last 8 days. Therefore, we were very happy just because we finally can rest.
In the morning, the port control was quick, we just had to fill out a few documents, after which we had to go to the island and go through immigration. After that, we went to tour the city. The first thing that interested us was the Internet. For many, this would seem to be wrong. But almost 3 weeks we were without Internet. It was nice to set foot on the ground after a long time on the catamaran. We went to a small restaurant which is the only one in the center of the island. We found the Internet without problems, but that’s what it was not so happy about. The first Internet is very slow and the second is that it is very expensive. You buy an hour of internet and use it. You can stop it when you do not need it or turn it on. But I had time to review it and write it to friends and relatives enough.
St. Helena is a very beautiful small island. The population on it is only 3000 people (with 4000 cars). People are very friendly and greet each other absolutely. On the first day of our stay on the island, we decided to climb the Jacob’s Ladder on this staircase of 699 stairs. We did not hurry and took about 20 minutes. From the top opens a fascinating view. It is seen from the top of the whole center of the island. We were a little tired after climbing the stairs and decided not to go down to the bottom. So we stopped the first car and the woman drove us. It’s nice when there are very friendly people on the island who always try to help.
The first 2 days we spent in the same restaurant. Of course, they went around all open shops and a souvenir shop. It turned out there was only 1 on the island. We walked around the city for a while. We did not really know what to do as on the weekend everything is closed. One thing that is interesting on the island is that credit cards do not work. Only in the bank with a passport you can withdraw money from the credit card. But who arrived on the island on Saturday or Sunday remain without cash as the bank is closed. But in the restaurant you will be given both food and internet by writing down your name and the boat’s name on which you are and you can settle with them before sailing. We were lucky because we managed to withdraw money from the bank and we did not have to use this service. The restaurant is not expensive for food and alcohol, but they make lots on the Internet. The food is normal but after everything tried on the menu I did not find anything that was really tasty.
On Tuesday we went on a tour of the island. We saw an old volcano. The landscape of St. Helena is sublime volcanic, since it itself is the peak of a huge underwater volcano (height above the sea bottom is 4224 m, diameter of the base is 130 km).
A small area on the island is the possession of France – the place where Napoleon Bonaparte was imprisoned. Napoleon lived here under the protection of his last 5 years of life. He died in this house and was buried not far from it. The house itself is original, from those great times. The interior is a reconstruction. The fact is that after the death of Napoleon Bonaparte was buried here on the island but after 19 years his companions took the body home to France, taking with them all the contents of the house, right down to the curtains! Photographing in the house is strictly forbidden. A very large area on which stands a house and a very large and beautiful garden. Napoleon died at the age of 51. Then we went to the grave of Napoleon. The trip took only 5 minutes drive. But then I had to go down 10 minutes downhill. Napoleon himself chose this place and bequeathed to bury him here.
“Diana’s Peak” (823 meters), is the highest point on St. Helena. To the left of it is the “Actaeon” mountain (with the Norqfol pine on top).
Today on the island live about 3000 people (with 4000 cars). The population is represented by the settlers, who are descendants of immigrants from Great Britain, Holland, Portugal, India and Africa. People hope that the airport will be open this summer. It was completed but can not be opened due to a strong wind sheer around the island, so you can get here only by sea from England or Cape Town.
It was a very interesting tour we really enjoyed. The tour started at 9 am and ended at 16 pm. We returned to the catamaran very tired.
The next day in the morning we sailed and in front of us waiting for 3200 km.
Every day that passes everything on the boat comes closer to being ready. The guys are working a lot and so are we. Len built this cat over almost 4 years and nothing is very clean. It takes a lot of time to make everything clean and working. Electronics are finish installing and all cabins are ready to use. It took a long time to decide what sheets we wanted to have in each cabin. Now we are just waiting for the day that we have the permit to close the road for the boat to get to the water. We were hoping it would have happened any day now for a couple days already. All safety stuff is already on board the boat. Now we are just waiting for the move day that government gives to us, which has already taken a couple weeks. This is proving more difficult then we expected. It took a long time to just decide on what road we would take to Durban. Some roads are more risky and oversize truck are not allowed to go on the those roads. The road that we always drive on has added concrete protection and they think that this makes is to narrow for the boat to go through there. They’re still checking a lot of things before giving us a day to go and which road that we are allowed to take. We’re hoping that this will happen next weekend which makes it September 18. We’ve already decided where we will stay on the boat and this is a nice place just the weather is not so clean. Unfortunately, we will still need to stay around here a month before we can get the sails on our boat.
Today we decided to go to Lesotho to fix my visa. The South Africa embassy in Ukraine gave me a multiple entry visa for 3 months but I’m allowed to stay in the country for only 1 month at a time. I need do passport control and we were thinking of what to do and decided to take Suni Pass road and go up to Lesotho control board on the Sani mountain lodge. This was a very beautiful view. We drove for around 3 hours and this was very nice see Africa, and see how people live and how they looked.
We went to Lesotho control and they say I was not allowed to come in because I needed a visa. And the guy asked us what we are wanted to do. We were thinking that we’d just come back if I needed visa. He took us with him to another room and said if we wanted to come into the country we need to give him a little money. We drove into Lesotho to a small village that they have for tourists. This is small little village where a lot of huts are in ruins and falling apart and although they still don’t look to bad inside they smell really bad of burnt something. It’s hard to understand why people live there, or maybe this is just a show for tourists so people will give them money. We are not stay there long time just turn around and decided come back to boat. This was a very nice trip and we see a lot the mountains. This is something that you don’t see every day.
On the 2nd of September Brody and Sean arrived at King Shaka International Airport in Durban. We picked up the boys and went to Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. When we got to the boat everyone was hungry so we decided to go get some Domino’s Pizza for dinner. We had a very great evening sitting around talking and have some drinks. The next day was very good too, we went to the Lion Park which is like a small safari. Maybe we went the wrong time because we didn’t see any animals, just lions in their enclosure. And as we were leaving we saw a rhino by the entrance.
After the Zoo we went together to do a little shopping, and the evening was great. Just I had a small accident with a bottle of Coke. I went to the bunks room to get a coke 2 liter bottle. Everything was fine until I took one bottle of coke and one other i put down on the bunks bed. I was about to leave and then the other bottle fell down and exploded making everything very wet and sticky. It got all over me and the room looks very bad as its covered in coke. Thankfully Brody helped me a lot clean all this mess so it didn’t take too long to clean up. Now everyone knows not to leave things out where they are liable to fall down on the boat.. Every one thinks we will probably be finding sticky coke residue in that room for weeks to come.
Sometimes it’s a fun life not living in a normal house. Everyday is different, every day you need to think what you will do in the evening after the sun goes down. This is hard because the sun goes down at 6 pm and not to much to do now because we’re still on land. Last night we are turned up the music and had a small party with just two of us, but it was still a great and fun party. Hopefully this will be a little better after Sean & Brody are here. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done before the boat goes to water and some times we think that it’s good thing that we’ve been delayed because we are still on land with a workshop beside us so its easy to fix anything we find isn’t working right. It is definitely easier to finish everything before we go on the water. Usually we like living on the boat because this is our new home and we love it.