Tuesday, 23 February 2016

St Helena Departure

Hi everyone,
We are currently in position 15 36S 006 34W and saillng at 5 knots on a course of 300M.  The wind is SSE at 8-10 knots with a slight sea and a low swell.  We are sailing under full main and single-furled yankee.  Scattered small cumulus clouds.  Bright full moon.  We have 3820nm to go to our nominal destination of Antigua.

Sailing away from St Helena

We departed St Helena at 1400 on Monday.  Clearing out was very straight-forward, apart from a brief hesitation when the immigration lady said we can stay for 3 months if we liked!  We did like, but do have to move on!  St Helena is a tough place to leave since it's such a nice place with such friendly people.

On Sunday friends on Chesapeake snd Impala arrived at the island.  It was great to catch up with them.  On Saturday Apogee, Happy Bird and Merkava had arrived and it was great to catch up with them too.  Cruising's an interesting lifestyle with friends constantly moving in and out of one's life.

On Saturday we had a great walk from Jamestown around the coast to Rupert's Bay.  A new wharf is under construction there and will be used by the ships which bring goods and fuel to the island in future.  There are an array of gun emplacements of varying age along the way to Rupert's Bay.  The landscape is very interesting with layers of volcanic deposits very obvious along the track-side.

Layers of volcanic deposits

On Monday we spent most of the morning catching up with friends at the Consulate Hotel after topping up our water tanks and clearing out.  Then it was a quick last-minute shop and back to the boat for departure.  It took a few hours to sail clear of the lee of the ialsnd but we are now sailing along nicely and making a good course.  For several hours we were right on course and doing 6 knots.

Our course takes us past the Fernando de Noronha islands off the tip of Brazil.  These islands used to be a popular stopover for cruisers until the Brazilian government applied charges of US$80/day and US$20/person to visitors.  From there we follow the South American north coast to the Caribbean.  As stated, our nominal destination is Antigua but we may call in a little further south, for example at St Lucia, Martinique or Guadeloupe.

It's a shame to bypass Ascension but we think we'll have better wind doing so, and an extra week in the Caribbean.  Can't believe we're enroute to the Caribbean!  The passage will take about a month.

Trust all's well where you are.

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