Adventures in Sailing

St. Helena

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.

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