Landfall St Helena
All good here – probably no internet until Monday.
I have sneaked onto Niklas boat to use his very limited internet.
DB is in the lee of island surrounded by high cliffs and the iridium wifi is not working.
Updated 00.01hrs Saturday 6 February 2021
LANDFALL – St Helena
The night watch passed without incident other than the pleasant arrival at 4am of non sleeping Jeremy with a flavoured (a 50/50 mix of Caramel and Hazelnut) coffee – god bless Lidl in Greece. They were on offer when I made the Ouzo/Vodka switch to the wine boxes so I thought they would make a good diversion in case of overly interested Customs Officers in SA.
The wind remained almost constant throughout the night at around 12 – 15kts which “Dawnbreaker” converted into 7 – 8kts of forward progress.
Once again the whole crew were mustered on deck by 7.30am. Brief discussions about what needed to be done during the day and then I headed off to Sleepsville. By 9.30am I was awake and at 10 was up for breakfast with J.
Capt. Lars was busy stripping down and rebuilding the reel on Fishing Rod 1. The fact that he needed to strip it down and rebuild it half a dozen times was a testament to his patience and bloody good fun to watch. Kenneth was researching all the things we wont be able to do or see on St Helena due to the Island be “Covid Closed”.
Because of the sudden change of 2 hours yesterday from Namibian time to GMT (UTC) all of our bodies were suffering from “jet lag” so Kenneth sensibly suggested that “Beer O’çlock” be moved to 11am. Lunch at mid day was then followed by a team effort to take my sofa/bed/cot to pieces in order that I could recover my iPod which had fallen through the narrowest of gaps between the arm and the wall and disappeared into the bowels of the boat a few days earlier. Fortunately Capt. Lars was on hand to supervise me as I systematically took the saloon to bits. Said iPod was eventually recovered and then the painstaking rebuild took place. Somewhat tired from all the exertion I headed up on deck for a snooze.
“Dawnbreaker” was still making the most of the available breeze and a 9pm ‘ish arrival at SH predicted by the navigation system. Suddenly at 2.20pm Kenneth called out “I can see land”. Much laughter and derision followed but when we followed the directions of “Eagle Eye Kenneth” sure enough a pimple of a land mass could be seen directly ahead of us in the far distance.
Well done Capt. Lars – What a good “Boat Aimer” you are.
The rest of the afternoon has been a very chilled out affair – Hand Held Spot Light and phones charged, Gin and Tonics tested for consistency and a general discussion regarding what Kenneth was going to do with the Minced Beef he is thawing out in the galley.
Aimee Mann and Lynyrd Skynyrd on the boats Hi Fi, Snacks, Sunshine and great company – I reckon this Ocean Crossing malarkey isn’t a bad way to escape Covid 19.
Hmmm …. The first wafts of Garlic and Onions are escaping through the wheelhouse to the rear cockpit. Maybe time for some Black Eyed Peas ….. “I’ve gotta feeling that Tonight’s gonna be a Good Night”. More later.
Qu’elle Surprise – Sweet and Sour Stir Fry veggies with Minced Beef and fluffy Thai Rice washed down with that bargain bucket Namibian Red – yummy yummy. St Helena was now starting to look like the substantial lump of rock that it is. Genoa furled at about 7pm (dark by now) and we were still making 6.5kts with just the main, probably helped by the wind shift around the island. An hour later we change course to due west at 270 degrees and passed the northern tip of St Helena about 2 miles offshore (port). The Sugar Loaf Point lighthouse (flashing 2 white every 10 seconds) came into view and we continue until we get a fix on the Rupert’s Bay lighthouse (flashing 2 red every 10 seconds). Course change to 170 degrees, engine started, mainsail dropped, flaked and packed and then a welcome radio call from Nikolas who has seen our approach and already identified a nearby mooring buoy. Some slick boat hook, line feeding and making fast by Jeremy and I saw us safely moored, engine off and exchanging abuse and cheery messages with Nikolas who is also swinging on a mooring about 20 metres to our stern (at the moment – let’s see if the wind shifts).
We are about 200 metres from the Cliffs and rocky beach, can clearly hear the waves crashing against them in the protected lee of the island but there is still a fair blow coming over the top of Mount Actaeon. Here’s hoping my ropework is up to muster.
Capt. Lars then called the ships company to order and reminded us of the “Naughty Call” tradition of a “Mooring Dram” (Question – where does he find all these wonderful alcohol related traditions from?).
We are now into “post mooring dram” drinkie poos and yours truly is banging out the tunes on the ships Hi Fi. I am not sure what the local residents will make of my selection, but it is ages since I have heard Quo and The Who played as loud as they ought to be.
Almost 1,200nm, an average speed of over 6.4kts over 7 days and smiles all round.
I was right when I said earlier - “I’ve gotta feeling that Tonight’s gonna be a Good Night”.
Nightie Knight readers – I’m going to sleep “Al Fresco” on deck tonight. As the Greeks would say “Oneira Glyka”.
“Deck Hand Pete”