Atlantic Adventure

04 January 2008
01 January 2008 | Surburbia - Cape Town
26 December 2007
21 December 2007 | 12,5 Deg N; 59,75 Deg W
15 December 2007 | 02,05 Deg N; 45,5 Deg W
07 December 2007 | 08,5 Deg S; 26,25 Deg W
04 December 2007 | 10,53 Deg S; 20,20 Deg W
01 December 2007 | 12,25 Deg S; 16,25 Deg W
27 November 2007 | St Helena
26 November 2007 | St. Helena Island
23 November 2007 | 20,25 Deg S ; 0,8 Deg W
21 November 2007 | 23.19 Deg S 2.47 Deg E
19 November 2007 | 27.01 Deg S 7.4 Deg E
18 November 2007 | 28.3 Deg S; 9.4 Deg E
16 November 2007 | 32,7 Deg S; 16.3 Deg E
13 November 2007 | Cape Town Harbour
12 November 2007 | Cape Town Harbour
10 November 2007 | Cape Town
02 November 2007 | Cape Town
27 October 2007 | Cape Town

Land Ahoy!

27 November 2007 | St Helena
Shaheda and Shaun
Hi All,

We arrived yesterday, Sunday the 25th November. Our approach to the Island was really exciting when Shaheda first spotted the Island when we were some 50 nautical miles out. At first it was just a dark spot on the hazy horizon but as the hours past by we could see this magnificent Island in it's full splendor. We dropped the sails some 10 nautical miles out and motored into the anchorage of James Bay.

Anchoring here is not an easy affair as this is a volcanic Island with the drop off into the sea being as steep as the cliffs that encompasses this Island. The sea bed is volcanic rock and makes it difficult for the anchor to bite. We eventually got the anchor to grip after getting some advice from the ferryman. We were unable to clear in with immigration as the offices were closed so decided to spend the evening on board. There is a yacht anchored next to us named Neptune, on board is the owner Thor a Finnish guy and his wife Mary who comes from Thailand. We invited them on board and shared some beer and our supper with them. We made some small talk and learnt that Thor was a farmer who retired in 1986, knew nothing about sailing but bought a yacht and decided to sail around the world. Well some 20 years later he is a regular Viking having made a number of circumnavigations already. His wife Mary does not like sailing but is keen to see the world so she grins and bears it. They are heading for Brazil, Uruguay and I don't think Thor has played open cards with Mary but he seems hell bent on going round Cape Horn.

It was also "Shower Day" last night. We took full advantage of being near fresh water and made the most of our shower opportunity. Shaheda even washed her hair therfore saving herself 10-Pounds Sterling at a local salon and still had a good hair day.

We went to check in at Immigration first thing in the morning. To get from our boat to the shore we call the ferry on the radio who does a round trip for 1-Pound 20 pence per person. The most amazing thing happened when I set foot on the jetty. The whole world moved as if I was on a ship. I could not control the feeling and felt landsick for at least half the day as my system adjusted to the sensation. Terry had the same sensation. He and I felt queasy for most of the morning. Shaheda on the other hand who had really been struggling with the seasickness showed no signs of landsickness and proceeded to walk around the Island without difficulty whilst I had to hold on to avoid toppling over or worse still depositing the previous nights supper on the pavement.

We went to Anne's place for breakfast after checking in with Immigration, a really easy affair. Anne is a feisty lady, had she been in Cape Town she would probably have been retired but she seems to run her "Place" with remarkable efficiency and is the darling of many a yachtie. This is evident from the many well wishes in her visitors book and the innumerable mementos left in the establishment by passing yachties. After breakfast John show us around the main areas of Jamestown, the Capital (the only town)of St. Helena. We spotted the Archives and went in to check on some possible relatives of Shaheda's. Terry did a search of the Ship's records to see if he could find any info on the ship that took his Forefathers out to Australia.

Shaheda and I decided to browse around the Town on our own and do some prying around. We walked to the the top of Town where the Hospital is located. This place is something to behold. I am sure that someone forgot to wind the clock as it has clearly stood still in time. It is behind the times but in a good and enviable kind of way. The police investigate people for "making persistent phone calls", someone was arrested and put on 15 months probation for stealing 2 bottles of rum from the local, drivers are given verbal warnings for driving without due care, there are pictures of people, in all of the establishments who serve alcohol, who have been banned from drinking for a while. The innocence and friendliness is something to behold. I cannot think that there is a more friendly place on Earth. Everyone and I mean everyone greets you as you walk down the street. It actually takes some getting used to when you are used to minding your own business walking around at home doing your own thing. Not making eye contact would be considered very impolite, be careful or Mr. Plod could come and give you a verbal warning for that :-)

The architecture is typical British Colonial and there has been no attempt to chuck out the old to make place for the new just for the sake of it. This is really Olde Worlde with all the right feel and touch still firmly intact. Life here is not easy though. Things are pretty expensive and most goods must be imported. British Tesco products, eggs and meat from Namibia can be found on the shelves at the Spar. A packet of 30g Lays chips cost 70p, a chocolate bar cost 2 pounds 45p, petrol is approx R18 per litre (1 pound is approx ZAR14). Due to the small population approx 3500 people, manufacturing in an economically viable manner is difficult. It is also hard to find certain things and some things are ney impossible to find. We searched high and low for a fresh home baked meat pie, none found. Eventually we found a curry pie which was made in a short pastry style not quite what we wanted for lunch but we settled on it along with a slice of pizza.

After lunch, Shaheda and I decided to tackle the Jacob's Ladder. This is a huge staircase, which is the most obvious architectural feature in Jamestown. The Jacob's Ladder was built in 1829, has more than 700 stairs, has a length exceeding 900 ft and rises more than 600 ft above sea level. It is a hell of a walk but really worth it. The views from the stairs and atop are absolutely stunning. My skills as a photographer cannot do this view justice. Once on top you enter the country side of the Island, but more on that after we do the guided tour of the countryside tomorrow. We walked around the top a bit admiring the view and the old buildings. I was not particularly interested in walking down the stairs as the real challenge for me was to get up. So we needed to find someway of getting back into town. After enquiring from the locals about the bus service or taxi it became clear that none would be available at that time. We started a slow walk down into town. We had just started walking when a car approached. I stuck my thumb out to hitch a lift and the person stopped. As it turned out is was the priest of the Anglican Church. He was delivering some goods to Town so we were on his way. He was very friendly and generous and dropped us right at the pier to catch the ferry back to our yacht.

This is really a remarkable place and really serves to show that one can still live the simple life.


Regards from all on board with love.
Comments
Vessel Name: Leopard 46
Vessel Make/Model: Robertson and Caine 46ft Catamaran
Hailing Port: Cape Town
About: We have many interest particularly those with an outdoor flavour such as hiking, birding, camping, traveling. Shaun has had a long interest in sailing and all things marine.
Extra: free counters

The Overmeyer's

Port: Cape Town