Happy New Year
05 January 2009
We arrived in James Bay, St Helena, at 09:20 on 1 January 2009 and on the second attempt had our anchor catch on the rocky bottom. I had already called St Helena Radio just before six in the morning and again notified them when we had our anchor down. I gave my name to the operator and she passed it along to Barry Williams, the port manager, and soon came back to us on the radio that Barry sent me and the crew his greetings for the New Year and granted permission to go ashore and see him the next morning to do our clearance.
Well, we did get ashore and found everything closed but did find Mike at SaintFM up and about, although suffering from flu (well, that's what he claimed but I am sure it was more to do with the previous nights celebrations). Soon Jacky, Adrian, Luke and I were walking up Main Street with Mike to join him in a bottle of lunch at The Standard. That beer really went down well. Luke and I then had a relaxing afternoon whilst Adrian and Jackie ventured up the 699 steps of Jacobs Ladder, the very steep stairs leading from Jamestown up Ladder Hill to the village at the top, Halftree Hollow.
Friday morning we did our clearance and got all our paperwork in order. Then it was time for a few bottles of "lunch" with Mike at The Standard again. As I write this, we have finished our chores on the boat, fixing a few niggles and servicing the engines. We have repaired the genset, which would not start two days out of Cape Town and topped up our main diesel tank from the extra drums we carry on board.
On Saturday Luke and I were invited to accompany Bishop John (the Bishop of St Helena) and a visiting Bishop from England, Bishop Lindsay, to a pub on the other side of the island at an area called Sandy Bay. We were collected just after 14:00 in Jamestown and taken to the lush Sandy Bay hills (photo of view from the pub above), where Collins Pub is located. I have seen the area from afar before but have never actually been there. The view from the pub is magnificent and our thanks go to the Bishops for their hospitality.
Monday morning is the turn of Adrian and Jackie to go on an island tour with Robert, a local tour guide and taxi operator. He gives a good tour, which lasts about five hours. On their return to the boat we will be ready to up-anchor and start on the next leg of the delivery to a waypoint off the north eastern coast of South America - a distance of approximately 1850 nautical miles. So, cheers for now - regards from all on board - John