1994 – Port Owen – St Helena Is

We left Port Owen Marina on Monday the 7th November, in a  light Southerly wind and hoisted the main in St Helena Bay.  Soon after the wind swung to the North, so we motored for a few hours. We tried to unfurl the Genoa (New Roller Furler)  and  it jammed, we un-jammed it with the windless handle, and off we went on a beat doing 7-8 knots.  The generator fuel was leaking and backed into the boat, so the smell below was not too healthy and I was soon feeling seasick.  The sea was like scrambled Eggs, from all directions and very uncomfortable, 3 metre swells.  The wind picked up during the night and we decided to furl the Genoa to half and it jammed once again.  I didn’t like Dave going to the fore-deck all the time, and the sea was now really rough.

Tuesday morning same conditions, the boat was digging in its rail, we wanted to unfurl the Genoa, and it jammed again.  We then saw a snake on the guard rail, thought it was a sea snake, so Dave used the windlass handle to knock it off, it was only a “Cape Cobra”. He got the .22 rifle and fired a shot, missing, the sea conditions made it quite difficult to shoot accurately, so the 5th shot Dave put the barrel next to the snake, and killed it.  We said, “that’s a bad omen”, and we turned back to Cape Town, at that stage we had done 150 miles.  Thank goodness he wasn’t bitten.  It must have come in the sack with the new anchor chain, which we left on the foredeck for 2 days, and it must have gone down into the chain locker, luckily the snake didn’t go inside the boat.  We arrived back in Port Owen on Wednesday, midnight and went alongside the holding jetty till Friday.  Our main water tank was also full of brown sediment, churned up from the rough sea.  On Monday Dave tried to take the Genoa off, took about 1 hour before it came down.  He phoned Manex Marine, who fitted the furler, and someone came out to the boat 2 weeks later.  They found that they had  fitted the swivel the wrong way around.   Dave cleaned the tanks, fitted a compass light, and did a few other jobs on the boat.  For the following week we had North winds blowing every morning, & on Monday the 5th December we decided to leave, despite a North wind, so we motored out of the bay.

 The first 7 days, I was seasick, wanting to go overboard and die.    We thought sailing would be boring and decided not to fit an auto-pilot, rather hand steer the boat, BIG MISTAKE…..  The nights were the worst,   I would nod off and go off course etc.  We didn’t see the sun for 17 days, and  it was very cold.  We  had to run the engine for 2 hours in the  evening, for lights and the fridge, as the solar panels didn’t put enough back to the batteries.    By the 5th day we had force 10 winds and huge swells lasting for 2 days, then light winds and a very confused sea , and 2 days from  St Helena we had 40 knot winds, doing 8 knots and 10 knots surfing down the swells.  During the night, Dave was flung out of our bunk and connected with the chart table.

 Our crew “Sheena” was fantastic,   she found her sea legs in no time and used to go to the foredeck to do her business, and always the same spot.

015 Main Str St. Helena

005 St. Helena

I was so happy to see St. Helena Island, after sailing 2,250 miles,  we entered Jamestown harbour at 8.30 a.m. on the 23rd December  and the harbour authorities came on board and showed us where to anchor, and tied an aft line to a barge, so we were quite secure and close in.  There was a ferry service, as it is very difficult to land a dinghy here. After 20 days at sea we went ashore to the famous “Ann’s Place”  for lunch and to do our laundry and she invited us to come to her for Christmas Lunch.

Ann -Pink Top – Richard

We were the only yacht in the anchorage, so the Christmas lunch was a family affair, and we felt quite privileged to have been invited, and what a fantastic 4 course meal.   The following day we cleaned the boat and Dave had repairs to do.   He had to go up the mast and replace broken lazy jacks, the roller furler once again, 2 screws fell out the bracket below the drum, also the main sheet block broke due to a vicious gybe, and had to replace  fuel  filters.

 The Portuguese discovered St Helena Island in 1582, and Napoleon arrived there in 1815-1821.
We went to Ann’s Place a few times for lunch, Fish and Veg. very tasty and her Apple Crumble pie was delicious.    I climbed the 699 steps to the top of the hill overlooking Jamestown.  Ann’s youngest son, Oliver, used to swim to our boat everyday to visit Sheena, as dogs were not allowed ashore.

We hired a car for a day to tour part of the island; the high lying areas are very green and lush.  We spent 2 unforgettable weeks in St Helena and left on the 7th January 95 for Salvador.


View To Anchorage

Views From Top of the Steps, Dignity tied stern to the Barge.


0 Responses to “1994 – Port Owen – St Helena Is”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


Blog Stats

  • 28,500 hits

%d bloggers like this: