The mythical island of St Helena

Take Off
Jörgen Wennberg
Fri 19 Jan 2018 21:29

Saint Helena is a British overseas territory located in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote volcanic tropical island 1,950 km west of the coast of south-western Africa, and 4,000 km east of Rio de Janeiro in South America. 
Saint Helena measures about 16 by 8 km and has a population of 4,439. It was named after Helena, mother of Constantine I. It is one of the most remote islands in the world and was uninhabited when discovered by the Portuguese enroute to the Indian subcontinent in 1502. For about four centuries the island was an important stopover for ships from Europe to Asia and back, while sailing around the African continent, until the opening of the Suez canal. St Helena is the United Kingdom's second-oldest overseas territory after Bermuda
Saint Helena is known for being the site of Napoleon's second exile, following his final defeat in 1815.

So we made it to St Helena! 

On 18th of January at 7.51 in the morning we sailed into St Helena - showed to be a quite mystical island. 


Passing James Town before finding our mooring.

Aurora helped us to find a buoy and we were very quick at celebrating. Breakfast at our mooring with an amazing view over St Helena cliffs.


Our mooring during our 3 days in St Helena. Amazing spot. 



As soon as breakfast was swollen, we had called for a water taxi who came along Take Off and picked us up. Included in the mooring! Off course he picked up more sailors on the way.



Very excited to discover the island of St Helena! From pretty cold when leaving our mooring to warm when arriving at the port…?


Our first steps on St Helena.


Entering the City of Jamestown



Remains from when St Helena had to protected themselves from outside vessels. Walking through the Capital Jamestown main and only street!




We finally making it to the bank. Only St Helena pounds can be used in the country (same value has the British pound). You wonder they why bother having differents sedlar. 


Someone does have a privilege!


Finding our friends again after 2 weeks of sailing apart from each other. 


And the kids quickly spotted St Helena’s only pooled that opened only a week ago after being under reconstruction for over 2 years! We were pretty lucky!

You can tell, not that many cars on St Helena

Some history of St Helena


Interesting transport on our way back boarding the water taxi from land! Luckily we did not have to take the ropes, but they are apparently needed when high waves are coming in. Would have loved to see what that would like, swinging yourself onto the water taxi!


Back to our home. 


This evening we went back to town for a Pizza night with live music. It was a great party night with dancing and lots of fun! As it got quite late we took a water taxi back to the boat, except of 2 of us: Henrik & Louise. Coming home quite late, we understood quickly what was going on! So fun!

The next day we jumped on a water taxi back to Jamestown to start our touring round the island. 


Our first stop was obviously Napoleons’ 2 houses. First we visited the Driar’s Palace.   xxxx




Then his second home, Longwood House.



Continuing our tour to see Napoloen’s tomb


The next stop was the newly inaugurated airport. It had costed 285 million British pounds to be built, only to realise afterwards that they did not encounter the winds. Where the landing area of the airport is now located the winds are not favourable for a larger plane to land. So only small planes from Namibia and Cape Town can fly in, only taking 65 people at a time. This results in that only local people fly in & out, and very little tourist. 



St Helena has even a golf course, 9 holes.

Just by the airport, there is a spot in the landscape reminding us of the “7 earth colours” from Mauritius.


We are driving through amazing landscape. St Helena showed to be a very mystical island : 

From the outside a huge piece of rock, dry, no vegetation and quite non-welcoming moonlike landscape. 
From the inside, you’ll see, very lush, green, full of diverse vegetation looking like the Swiss Alps.. with cows!


We continued our tour to visit the Governor’s Palace and its special inhabitants : the Giant Turtoise, “Jonathan the Turtoise”.


We ended our tour by climbing the 699 steps of Jacob’s Ladder. We did all the 6 of us, taking us 20 min. 


Off course we started from the bottom.


Almost there!


We did it!



Amazing view and a well deserved sundowner at Rosie’s. 


Jacob’s Ladder by night


Last evening with BBQ at Anne’s Place with the rest of the fleet as they are leaving tomorrow. We arrived a day later so we are happy to enjoy more of the island.


And Alex & Inez got a sleep over with Dr Bob on Lexington. An american doctor in his 70’s who chose to sail around the world, not with his wife, but his a couple. They were ever so sweet with Alex & Inez. This time sleep over with moovie “Avatar” and popcorn


As the World Arc fleet left for Brasil, we took the chance to do some maintenance onboard. This time we hade to fix the halyard for the spinnaker with bicycle chain. 



Louise gave a first chance, for then Henrik to be more successful.

Into town for lunch at the well renowned Mautis Hotel.




Then we took a last tour with another guide. We were lucky to have a legendary guide, Robert, who showed us around, telling the most amazing stories one after the other about St Helena and its exciting history.





We ended the tour at the castle  overlooking the only natural entry of St Helena, Jacob’s Creek.


Down again to Jamestown, hopping on the water taxi to prepare the boat to leave at 20.55 on the 20th of January.