St Helena, preparing to depart...

Tue 6 Oct 2020 09:09
Well, the time has come for us to leave this beautiful haven that has held us safe and loved for seven short months while the rest of the World has struggled.  
We came here for ten days on the 10th March, and even on the 16th we were still planning to leave within days.... then Covid 19 took hold.
At the peak there were 22 foreign flagged yachts here.  Now there are three with crew on, and we are the last pre-isolation boat.  Most have left for the Caribbean or Europe, all loved it here and were sad to leave.
Our plans have changed several times as we tried to balance our need to see family and friends, and manage our various liabilities with the desire to remain safe.  If we leave now, by the time we reach the Caribbean hurricane season will be over, so the scales have tipped in favour of leaving...
St Helena has been the most delightful interlude.  It is fair to say our stay here has been the highlight of our circumnavigation....and to think we were in two minds about whether or not to stop at all!
We have swum with whale sharks, we have seen turtles and rays, dolphins, tuna and whales leaping from the sea.  Seen chicks hatched and fledged, watched Fairy Terns dance in the sky, listened to the Miner Birds evening chorus and witnessed the annual changing colour of many species.  
Watching the helicopter manoeuvring steels into place for the rock fall protection work was fascinating.  Admiring the many and varied Land Rovers, and spotting registration numbers below 500, I have seen more than half, has kept me amused.
The girls have both worked here, and made friends so doing.  We have sailed regularly, always taking friends, sometimes racing and sometimes just relaxing.  We have explored the islands varied geography and history.  We have done our small bit to honour the 8,000+ freed slaves who died and are buried here....a sobering reminder of man’s inhumanity to man.
We have made many friends, to numerous to mention, but they have made our time here so very special.  I know that we will remain in contact with many of them, and we will miss them all very much.  
For all these reasons parting will truly be, such sweet, sweet sorrow.  We will return.  But now we must go and complete our circumnavigation, see family, and friends back home and start the next chapter in our lives.
With very special love, thank you St Helena 
Alasdair, Gill and Carmen

Alasdair Maclean

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