Thursday 22nd September 1858 UTC 1958
Today was spent tidying up the aftermath of the job
on the furling system and other odd jobs round the boat. Also I finally got
round to having a go at sorting the toilet in the aft heads. I knew would
be a shitty job and I was right..... I had meant to do at Capetown but left it
and left it and used the other heads aboard while under way. Today
however, despite thinking long and hard about it I could not think of any
excuse to put it off any longer so with a heavy heart I got stuck into it and
fixed it. You don't want to know the details but there was a
duct to the atmosphere which needed clearing.
By midday I was finished all jobs and headed to
town to explore. St Helena is a place where you just stop and talk to
people all along the road and life goes on at a slow pace. People say "you're
the guy off the big yacht then. I hear you are sailing alone"! Good grief I also
put my laundry to someone in town today - goodness knows what they will be
saying about me tonight in the town!
I met with the two crew who had been on the
yacht that was wrecked the week before. They are now getting free passage
home on the "RMS" - back to the UK.
It turns out I met the unfortunate owner in
Langkawi a few days before Brokeback! We exchanged views and subsequent emails
about the risks of the Gulf of Aden passage and I was quite taken
aback at his relaxed approach to the dangers! Anyway it seems he had a change of
heart and headed round the same detour as Rhiann Marie and sadly came
unstuck and was in fact ship wrecked here in St
Yesterday the sense of excitement could be felt
around the small town with the imminent arrival of the Royal Mail Ship "St
Helena" today. Sixty odd passengers arrived from Ascension islands, where
some having come from the UK aboard the ship would have transited and others,
perhaps working on Ascension or Falkland or even Tristan da Cunha would
have joined up. The dock was a busy and excitable place today. It was not just
passengers arriving but cargo, mail and parcels and the monthly boat arriving is
a bit like a mini Christmas as these long ago ordered bits and bobs
All in all the "Saints" are very friendly people
and on my wandering today I even met a guy whose mother was from Lewis.
I will save a full blog about St Helena until I
complete my tour of the island tomorrow which Kieth Yon, one of the guys who
helped with my sail, is taking me on.
In the meantime a little bit about the blog. We now
have a new but unverified leader in the field of furthest away readers, as
we have one reader from Williams Lake a "frontier town" in central BC,
Canada! Can anyone beat that? Now the reason I say unverified is that because
although this town is 900K's north of Portland Oregon depending on exactly the
lat/long of the location it may well be marginally closer than Portland, Oregon.
Anyone know why?
Also I have been having loads of e-mails in and
they offer great encouragement and are always interesting and really appreciated
even if they just say "hi".
One very interesting one the other day from a pilot
offered an explanation for the strange radio and radar phenomenon that I was
experiencing. Here it is:
" I've been wondering if those odd transmissions you're getting on VHF are
a result of some sort of atmospheric ducting , which can occur
in settled high pressure conditions, giving a much greater range than the 200+
mile theoretical one. Does it tend to happen at the same time of day? This may
also account for the odd target on the radar as the signal "bounces" off the
temperature inversion a few thousand feet up"
Well I never ...... two types of
"atmospheric ducting" in one day.