….. An update from Jeremy
Well, the St Helena arrangement didn’t work out. Understandably, the Harbour Master is not keen to have the citizens go out to meet boats that a) haven’t been cleared in and checked and b) aren’t sticking around to be checked?
I understand the concerns as this opens ways for people to smuggle all sorts of things in and off the island. If one had to script a dodgy way to do “business”, some transient fella in a sailboat would probably be the way? Anyhow, there’ll be another time. I’ll take it as “disappointment training” and I’m sure there’ll be lots of that coming up in the race. There was actually quite a sense of relief when the decision was taken out of my hands. Not that I didn’t want to catch up with an old friend or see what the island looks like these days, but I’m really getting into a groove now and it just feels right to carry on uninterrupted. Some things have definitely changed on the island since I was last there. It was always such a pleasure to call up St Helena Radio to announce your imminent arrival. The radio operator was usually a very cheerful lady and was super friendly and welcoming. I decided to just do a radio check on my way past and some grumpy guy answered like I was interrupting something really important in his life. He started issuing instructions about who to call when I got closer without bothering to lis
ten to why I was calling. Maybe it is best not to go back and to just remember the Island the way it was years ago?
Once I’d left St Helena behind, it was as if I’d sailed into a different world. Suddenly, there was sun, and warmth and the sea turned that beautiful, mid-ocean dark blue and it even felt like the waves got themselves a bit more organized! This is what the trade winds are supposed to be like and I’d almost written them off in the 13 days leading up to the island. I hadn’t seen the sun for the last 8 days and hadn’t been able to take a sight either. That changed this morning and I managed to get two reasonably good sights and the last one this afternoon I felt really good about. I’m told that the second 1000 sights are much better than the first 1000?
Still no sign of bird or fish life at all. This is another big difference between the Atlantic (above the latitude of Saldanha) and the Indian oceans. The Indian Ocean that I have experienced is teeming with life. We never had to wait long for dinner to snatch a lure in the Indian Ocean. I wonder if the Atlantic isn’t just fished out? Will keep trying though. I have just under 600 miles to Ascension Island now and I think I’ll take a sail past that as I’ve never been there, but I won’t stop and will push on towards the UK with a possible stop in the Azores. To be decided.