St Helena and Onwards
29 August 2009
Our stop in St Helena was the shortest one I have ever made. We arrived in the anchorage at 10:30 and had to wait on the boat until 15:30 for the islands Medical Officer to come out and check that we did not have Swine Flu. What a waste of time! We then had half an hour to visit immigration, port authorities and customs to clear in and out at the same time.
Whilst en-route to the island we noticed that two bolts had come out of our furling drum and disappeared overboard. One of our missions on the island was to source replacement bolts and this was sorted out even before we managed to get ashore. Bruce (ZD7VC), a local radio HAM, called me on the radio shortly after we had anchored and I asked him of the availability of the bolts. He kindly left us a packet of assorted bolts with Jose, the man who was storing our diesel for us. My great thanks to him for his assistance - the bolts will be returned to you as soon as I get back to Cape Town.
We then had a quick beer and went down to the customs shed to collect our diesel that Gavin, one of our other delivery skippers, had left for us the day before. Then back to the boat to repair our furling drum and re-hank the genoa, top-up our diesel tanks and we were ready to sail. Not a very exciting visit for Hardy and Andries, who have never been to the island before.
The weather forecast for our region is for light east-southeast winds of around 10 knots, increasing to around 15 knots tomorrow (Sunday). Well, the forecaster who predicted those winds has a lot to learn. Through the night until this morning we had flat seas with a variable maximum 4 knots of wind. This afternoon we have had a northerly breeze of maximum 5 knots and, to slow us down even more, we have had a slight counter-current. We are motoring at the moment! Let's hope that the winds do fill in and we can put up some serious sail and make this a "sailing boat", as it should be.
This leg between St Helena and the northern Brazilian coast is a pretty quiet one as far as ships are concerned. We may see one or two around until we cross one of the shipping lanes just before reaching the next waypoint, just over 1800 nautical miles away. However, I have started a competition - the person who spots the most ships between St Helena and a waypoint just south of the island of Barbados, wins a bottle of good Caribbean Rum at the end of the delivery. More on this as we progress.
Hope you folk are having a great weekend. Regards from John, Andries and Hardy.