St Helena

We left Namibia on a Full Moon and the wind and the sea follow us all the way to St Helena.  The Moon was shy and kept hiding behind the clouds, every now and then peeking through as if to check that we where still there.

Life on board during a passage is not as boring as non sailors would believe. Daily routines such as  ongoing maintenance and cleaning, watch keeping, cooking, fishing, fixing things that stop working ( on a boat it happens all the time) interrupted by reading, napping, some daydreaming, planning and more reading and napping making time irrelevant.

The passage was like a roller coaster, waiting for the next wave to pick you up and surf for a few seconds until the next one.

Laying half way between Africa and South America  St Helena is possible the remotest place on earth and has an interesting history since its discovery by the Portuguese in 1502.

The most famous and better known visitor to the island was Napoleon Bonaparte when he was taken prisoner by the British and exiled there along with his imperial entourage until he died six years later.  The French maintain that he was murdered by the British, mixing arsenic with his food. The daily  food supply for this entourage amongst other were 40 kilos of meat,9 chickens, and 17 bottles of wine  excluding spirits and champagne. No wonder!!!!!!!

It also became a concentration camp during the Boer war in 1900, where they kept over 6000 prisoners.  So the English invent them and the Germans improved them!!!!!

Today’s populations of around 4000 are a crossbreed of Portuguese, Dutch, English, Malay, Goanese, Madagascan, East Indian, African, Chinese, Boers, American whalers and most likely Napoleon entourage to name a few. What a blend!

Without an airport this volcanic island can only be accessed by sea, with a supply ship service every six weeks that brings critical delivery of items for survival such as beer and a few tourists from  Ascension Island and Cape Town.

The waters are so clear that visibility is excellent at 30 meters with a great abundance of fish. Local customs are predominantly English and some American influence which explain the lack of creativity where food is concerned.

 

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About Paco

I am living my dream of sailing around the world, and to visit and meet as many places and people time will allow me.
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