Thursday, 3 May 2018

20 April Land ho! Jamestown, St Helena

Noon-to-noon run 135nm. Total distance 1,233nm. Time taken 8 days 1 hour.
At 3pm we picked up our mooring (a red one for boats over 50' or more than 20T gross) having sailed all the way except 1 mile to clear the anchorage in Walvis Bay and a mile at the end when we came in to the wind shadow of St Helena.
Customs and Port Control came out to us an hour later. There were a couple of forms to complete and we were in. We shall visit Immigration when they open on Monday morning.
There was a spectacular sunset this evening and all was quiet in the anchorage.

19 April Getting close

Noon-to-noon run 163nm with 150nm to go to Jamestown St Helena.
During the day we are making good speed, but as the sun goes down so does the wind speed and our ETA slips from 8am to midday.
In the afternoon I sent an email to Port Control to advise of our arrival and late afternoon we caught another dorado bringing the total to four.

18 April Crossing the Prime meridian

Noon-to-noon run 158nm.
At 08.45 GMT we crossed the prime meridian 4130nm south of our home port Greenwich. Too early to toast Neptune with a tot of rum – we saluted him with a cup of tea.
We're back in the western hemisphere once more having crossed the anti meridian in Fiji almost eight years ago.
By a quirk of coincidence it is also ten years to the day since David proposed to me. We were standing on the Meridian of Greenwich the observatory. He chose the location because wherever we sailed our charts would always show 'Degrees from Greenwich'. My husband is a romantic. Could he have arranged this too?
A special day meant earned a small gin and tonic at sundown before dinner of goujons of amberjack fillet with tartar sauce.

17 April Day 6 Passage to St Helena

Distance covered noon-to-noon 125nm. A bit more strength in the wind reverting back to regular tradewinds of SE15.
The motion of the boat is so comfortable I was able to do a review of our fresh provisions; which potatoes need to be used first? Same for the bag of onions. In the salad tray I checked the tomatoes which are individually wrapped in paper and stored in a long life bag sitting on a bed of bubble wrap. Toms are delicate and deserve the best treatment if I'm to maintain their freshness. As the sea water temperature increases and room in the freezer increases I'm able to move 3kgs of bread flour from under floor storage to the freezer. I've found this a successful method to stop bugs hatching in tropical conditions.
Dinner tonight was Thai chicken massaman curry with rice.

16 April Day 5 Passage to St Helena

Distance covered noon-to-noon 153nm. The winds have dropped to 8 to 10 knots and the boat speed correspondingly to 4 to 5 knots, but it is a comfortable motion. The skies are blue. Seas flat and all is well with the world. Especially because we caught two small dorados. The first dorado in a year!
I pan fried a couple of fillets and served them with new potatoes, sweetcorn and tartar sauce. We decided to go mad and shared a can of tonic water!

15 April Day 4 Passage to St Helena

Distance covered noon-to-noon 169nm. The wind is starting to back as we go further west and north and by mid afternoon it had come around sufficiently to enable us to switch to our downwind sail configuration; head sail poled out to port and the lighter weight headsail ballooner poled out to starboard like a large inverted kite. Main and mizzen are furled away. The swell is more comfortably following and the rolling reduced. And the temperature is rising – up to 24c today. I may go mad and shed a layer of clothing soon.
For dinner I cooked, yes from scratch, a sausage, haricot bean and potato one pot casserole.

14 April Day 3 Passage to St Helena

Distance covered noon-to-noon 162nm. The wind still in the low to mid 20s from SSE and boat speed is in the 7 to 8 knot rang e. Still under jib and jigger.
We are both settling in to the passage now, establishing our routines and watch patterns. There's no moon just a sky full of stars.
Tonight's dinner was lamb and rosemary burgers in a bun with a side of salad. Nothing too involving in terms of preparation or pans and plates to wash.

13 April Day 2 Passage to St Helena

The noon log showed we covered 140nm. The wind has strengthened to 20kts, gusting 22kts from SSE and we have reduced sail to reefed jib and jigger.
Dinner was a pre prepared spaghetti bolognaise from the freezer.

12 April Leaving Africa

By early afternoon the southerly winds had picked up and we slipped the mooring bound for St Helena. As soon as we were clear of the anchorage we were able to switch off the engine and sail.
We sailed towards the sunset with all sails out in S15 kts and a SW swell which kept us rockin'.
First dinner on passage was a one pot chicken casserole which I'd prepared earlier. I'm not planning on doing any cooking until we have a following wind and swell.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

11 April Walvis Bay

After a week here we've discovered the wind pattern is light overnight from the north and switches to a 20 knot houlie from the south from 2pm to send the wind whirling like a Dervish.
We discovered Walvis, pronounced either Wal-vis or Val-fish, means whale in Afrikaans.
While we haven't seen any whales in the bay there are many, many seals, pelicans and flamingos to see. The water is rich in krill which makes both the flamingos and the pelicans pink. It is also odoriferous.  One boat owner who likes to keep his power  boat clean has built a garage for his boat.   The birds perch on top and the seals sleep inside.


We tie the dinghy to the yacht club jetty and can either walk to town in twenty minutes or catch a taxi to the Dunes Mall for NAD20 (£1.30) per person. At the Mall there are three supermarkets, Checkers, Pick and Pay and Woolworth, a couple of large chemist shops and the usual clothes shops.
small craft anchorage. YC jetty is on far right of picture
Walvis Bay town is larger than Luderitz and has hardware shops, three petrol stations and three supermarkets, OK, Shoprite and a Superspar (you'll find fast, free internet in the Spar coffee shop). I found Walvis Bay better for provisioning than Luderitz – a greater range and slightly cheaper. If you want to top up on beer and wine go to the shops any day except Sunday; no alcohol sold on Sunday. This doesn't include bars.
The yacht club has a restaurant. There are more places to eat behind the tourist catamaran jetties and if you turn west from the yacht club jetty along the esplanade is a restaurant built on stilts over the water,
The Raft
The Raft, a higgly piggly construction on stilts which was our favourite place to eat.
We found clearing out to be super simple. It took us 35 minutes to walk to Customs located at the main gate to the port (22.57.11S 14.30.01E). Although we had all ships papers the lady didn't ask to see them. I filled in a one page declaration, she stamped it, gave me the original, and we were done. No charge. It was then a short 100 metres walk to Immigration (22.57.035S 14.30.05E ) in a building shared with another Customs department where we filled in departure forms, had our photos taken, passports stamped and we were done. No charge.

Next stop St Helena 1250nm WNW.