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Sailng on Windwanderer.
17th Dec 2015
St Helena Thursday 17/12/2016

Thursday 17/12/2015

Well we are still tied up to the buoys thank god.

We both slept really well, even though I woke up several times, listening to the waves crashing on the cliffs, it was a bit unnerving, but that is always the way when we come into a new anchorage.

We radioed port control, on what we are suppose to do,we were told to report to shore, and come to the white building with a clock on it. last night we put up our quarantine yellow flag so that was all ok.

Then they told us to radio the ferry man and he would come out and get us.( and no we did not pay him till he got us to the other side) you can't use your dinghy here, the shore line is just all cliffs they have a little landing at a dock where they bring you to, it's a cement dock and you come up next to it, grab a rope and swing ashore just like Tarzan, well it's not really that bad but in rough weather it's a bit scary, when the ferry which is just a tiny little boat, is swaying all over the place, and the rope is on shore and you do grab it and swing.

The first thing we noticed that everyone is friendly almost over friendly, but we are getting used to it real quick, I have never meet so many friendly people in my life, everyone says hello, they come from all over the world , most are born here, but you also have a lot of South Africans and British, of course.

The customs, immigration and quarantine were a breeze to get through, even though it was very long winded, man they can chat but nothing was a problem and with very little paperwork to do.

The island is just majestic cliffs and mountains, with a town at the bottom between cliffs and houses on the top of the mountains, but there is such a sense of community spirit and pride in their little island in the Atlantic Ocean.

I honestly have never experienced a place like this, it's English owned, and has a very old worldly English feel about it, there sure is a lot of history here, this is where Napoleon was exiled and lived out the rest of his days.

The place is like stepping back into the 50's with a modern twist to it, they have just introduced a mobile phone company three months ago, and Yeap they have some interesting phones for sale, even the old style land phones.

The first thing on the list was to try and get internet, we found the new mobile shop, but soon learned that you can only get it with a land line or there are half a dozen Cafes around that you can buy vouchers and use theirs.

So the first place and the closest, ( everything is uphill here and we need to get our legs used to walking on solid ground, first before we take on too much) so Ann's place looked real good, it's in what they call the castle gardens, although I have not seen any Castles around yet.

The place is interesting to say the least, it seems to be where all the yachties leave a momento of their boat here, I enjoyed looking around at all the bits and pieces, but the whole place was a bit basic, and the toilets, man one day I am going to write a book on public toilets of the world...haha

I have visited so many different ones over the years to holes in the ground, ( that was actually in the Airport in Dubai, and kinda scarred me for life) but this here one was painted bright red, with skeletons and pictures of scary stuff, and Yeap no lights, well it did have a light but I could not find a switch, so I had to leave the door ajar, and Yeap it faced out into the gardens, I so hope no one was watching.

They had a basin outside to wash your hands and a mental amount of signs everywhere to make sure you did just that, of course I had to go get the camera and take a few pics...haha

So we decided to have a bite to eat here and hook up with their wifi, well talk about expensive, it cost in Aussies dollars about $13 an hour each, we ended up spending an hour and a half each online catching up on stuff, if you add that to the cost of getting the ferry which they charge $10 a round trip, it's very very expensive, that little outing excluding lunch cost us, around $50, I don't think we will be getting on the net much, actually it cost us more because we went to another place a hotel this time to see if the Internet was a bit quicker here and spent another hour each online, so total for internet for the day, $65.

We had decided to stay onshore, as they were having what they call the light festival, and everyone was telling us about it and how lucky we were to be here for it.

We really had no idea what to expect, so we joined the crowd, and there was a lot, a fair chunk of the community were involved, they told us it would start around 7.30pm, before grabbing some dinner we wandered around looking at this and that,than got a good vantage spot on the top of a archway that leads into the town.

And that's where we sat with a lot of locals just waiting and waiting, eventually an hour and a half later they started.

It was fantastic the streets, shops were all lit up with Christmas lights, then the parade came down the Main Street, there were cars, trucks, people walking, all covered in Christmas lights, even a few police as well, and all playing Christmas songs.

It was so moving, we had not really thought too much about Christmas, as being away from family and friends is so hard, so I guess if we didn't think about it we would be ok.

Well we were, until this, I was a bit teary but really enjoying it, until a float came down, which was a ship and they started signing a song Christmas at Sea.

Oh man it goes something like " Christmas at sea, far away from home, no family, visions of home, sailing to land fall all alone." Well I just sobbed, The Captain held me in his arms and I don't think he was much better than me, I looked around and there were a lot of teary eyes, a lot of people here are away from their family's too.

The parade ended on the shore front where they started a little concert, just before they started they told us all to look out to sea,

The RMS St Helena ship had come in that day and they had lights strung all around the ship, and about half a dozens boats were all lit up, they formed a line and manoeuvred around the ship several times, all the while the RMS was blowing its ships horn.

It sure was something, the concert we did not stay long for, as we were really tired and it was getting past 10pm, and we still needed to find someone in the ferry to run us back to our boat.

We eventually found the guy, came back to the boat and just fell into bed totally exhausted.

Well tomorrow is another day.



Next: St Helena Friday 18/12/2015
Previous: Day 14. 16/12/2015


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