Island life - Wonderful St Helena
Our crew get ashore and start to explore
Posted on Sat 9 Apr 2022 · by Andrew Cowen
After an 11 day voyage our intrepid crew arrived at St Helena island - Matt describes the arrival :
"The island rose ominously out of a dusky morning. Huge dark cliffs painted pictures in our tired minds as cumulus clouds do but the pictures they painted were more dark and disturbed. An excellent prison island, the English famously kept Napoleon here. No walls necessary, just thousands of nautical miles of the Atlantic thwarting any aspiration of escape.
The birds where back also. Terns took turns to fly upwind of each other, their wing tips almost touching as they painted ornate patterns in the sky. Red billed tropic birds, pure white, powdery soft with unique tail shapes beaked with fiery orange and red. A little fishing vessel putted along, dwarfed by the rocky peaks behind. It was the first vessel we had seen for days. As we rounded to the north of the island towards a more sheltered aspect the cliffs became speckled with illustrious greens and skinny waterfalls until valleys allowed inviting glimpses into tropically vegetated peaks dotted with miss matched dwellings and ruins in the morning light.
After what felt like an age,, a pleathera of fishing vessels, then yachts, then mooring buoys appeared in front of a small industrial harbour. A yacht stood, high and dry on a breakwater. We passed another little headland and Jonestown Harbour emerged. Tall green trees, colonial style buildings spired and cream, colourful, coastal houses cars and containers came into view.
Our VHF radio began to pick up the local goings on. Accents of English gave impressions of pre-war Britain with call signs repeated diligently, three times, announcing the happenings of almost nothing. A far cry from the industrial bustle of Cape Town Port.
We were instructed to pick up a mooring buoy and await further instructions. The boat busied with preparation, following our skippers command. Lines were set up and the crew readied at the bow.
St Helena island has strict Covid quarantine procedures, so the crew had to wait on board for several days before finally being cleared to go ashore on Friday.
It will be worth the wait though, - apart from re-provisioning Aurora for the return to Cape Town, the crew will now have fived days to explore - from meeting Jonathan, the oldest living animal in the world, (a 195 year old Tortoise), visiting Longwood house, where Napoleon was incarcerated and hiking into the interior of the island they certainly won't be short of things to do. The islanders are hugely welcoming and have laid on a reception at the Yacht Club, guided tours just for Wavysail crew as well as interviewing the crew on Island Radio about their experience.
All this makes our Cape Town to St Helena trip incredibly special - a small group, with a world-class skipper, on a full scale, hands-on ocean adventure with the incredible St Helena exploration in the middle...See our dates for details and next time, it could be you on board with us!