St Helena Day - A week of memories
Date Tuesday 31 January 2017 to Tuesday 7 February 2017
I am somewhat pressed for time so this diary entry will be a series of photographs put together so that I can post them when we go ashore for our final clearance.
Water taxi only here, using your own dinghy would make for wet and exciting landings.
The first two days were spent carrying out repairs to the water maker, now working properly (again), and replacing the autopilot drive motor with the spare we have carried for 7 years.
The architecture of Jamestown is a good example of what Britain put up on island communities all over the world. But for the cars it could be a film set for a period drama.
Looking down into Jamestown from one of the precipitous roads into the interior.
Our first out of town outing was to visit Reg Johnson, a friend of Rob and Glynis Steer who we met in Johannesburg. We delivered a late Christmas present from them to Reg.
Reg caretakes Princes Lodge, a fine Georgian House with the largest collection of St Helena prints and document in the world. There is a guest annex, Drakes Cottage, that is available to rent as are rooms in the main house.
We had an excellent full day island tour, organised by the Tourist Office and probably the last benefit that we will receive from our membership of the World ARC Rally as we split off and head north. One of the early stops was to walk down and view the site of Napoleon’s original burial site from 1821. He now lies in Les Invalides in Paris having been moved there in 1840.
Longwood House, Napoleon’s residence on St Helena. He arrived on the island in 1815, exiled after the Battle of Waterloo. He lived in this house from 1816 until his death in 1821.
No tour of St Helena would be complete without viewing the new airport; the one that has yet to become operational. The photograph shows one end of the runway. The problems with landing commercial aircraft stem from the wind shear over the cliffs and around the rocky outcrops in the picture. Removing the mountain is one of the options!
A large part of the island is a volcanic plain. Arid and infertile, it has not been helped by a severe and long drought.
Plantation House, has been the residence of the Governor since being built by the East India Company in 1792. Due to our membership of the World ARC we were treated to a guided tour of the interior by the House Manager Debbie. The present Governor HE Lisa Phillips was at her office in the Castle in Jamestown. We did however meet her Labrador Dusty who was very much in residence.
Jacobs Ladder, all 699 steps of it, built in 1829 for hauling manure up and goods down to the town. We declined the offer of climbing either up or down. Common sense prevailed for once.
A birthday treat on 6 February was a boat trip to snorkel with Whale Sharks, summer visitors to St Helena. The Whale Shark in the photograph was between 12 and 14 metres. They appear to ignore swimmers which can be somewhat alarming when they turn and swim directly towards you with their mouths open. Time for a quick swim in the other direction!