St Helena and Beyond

Jamestown
Jamestown

We only had 96 hours in St Helena, but it was well worth the visit. After a week at sea it’s great to have a break, restock (spending GB pounds!) and do a little tourism.

St Helena is a tiny chunk of the UK and feels a little like a strange part of Devon. We took an all-day tour of the island and saw it all, including Napoleon’s Tomb and his house where he lived for the last eight years of his life.

First Time Flying the Parasailor
First Time Flying the Parasailor

Then it was off to Salvador, Brazil – 1930 nm, 14 days at sea. This is third or fourth longest passage in the circumnavigation.

We soon settled into the routine – watch, sleep, eat etc. We were forced to motor for the first day or two, but then the trade wind set in and we sailed for almost the entire trip. We also used the parasailor for the first time – what a great sail! Easy to handle, tolerant of wind shifts, and easy to snuff as long as you don’t leave it too late. We’re looking at one for Mistral…

We expect to arrive in Salvador at dawn tomorrow (the 10th). We’ll have a kip, clear in, then watch Tommy’s England game against Wales! Go Tommy!

Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva and Ua-Pou

After a couple of days in the small bay of Hiva Oa we sailed 25 nm south to the island of Ua-Pou. Apparently it was the island which inspired the Disney film Moana.

A day or two later we sailed north back to Nuku Hiva, but this time to a beautiful bay called Hanamoenoa. Karen went on a hike with some of our World ARC friends and I sent the drone flying.

Galapagos

Sea Lions at San Cristobal
Sea Lions at San Cristobal

It’s quite a place. We had 11 inspectors going over the boat on arrival, and a pair of divers who inspected the hull for contaminants (e.g. barnacles). We were OK, but one boat in the fleet failed the hull inspection and had to go 25 nm off-shore, pay for hull cleaning and pay a fine. Bad luck.

Once cleared in you are only allowed to visit three islands and not permitted to snorkel, dive, hike, use your tender or any way explore without a tour guide. One wonders if they really want us there.

Blue-Footed Booby
Blue-Footed Booby

Having said that, the sights are unique. San Cristobal is the island where it’s impossible not to trip over sea lions in the street. Isabela has major colonies of the blue-footed booby, and Santa Cruz has it all – iguanas, sea turtles, boobies, sea lions, dolphins, the lot.

Iguana

Since it’s our second time in Galapagos (the first was in 2018), it was great to see it from our own boat. Will we return? Probably not…

Read more at:
Karen’s Travels
World Cruising Logs
YB Tracker

Panama City

Modern city, lovely old town, but we spent most of our time in La Playita Marina getting the boat fixed after the Panama Canal staff drove us into the side of the canal.

Panama City Old Town
Panama City Old Town

We’d definitely come back here in the future – we’re learning that despite visiting places that we wouldn’t normally choose to visit, we don’t have enough time once we’re here!

Santa Marta

Nightlife
Nightlife

A few relaxing days in Santa Marta. Apart from straightening a stanchion, there has been very little work to do on the boat, apart from routine maintenance and cleaning. Karen, Tim & Jane took a one-day tour to the hills and coffee factory (see Karen’s site for more). We had a couple of meals in town in the evening and sundowner cocktails in the marina. The highlight was Chris’s chilli on the boat 😉

Read more at:
Karen’s Travels
World Cruising Logs
YB Tracker

ARC+ Leg 1: Las Palmas to Cape Verde

Poled out Genoa
Poled out Genoa

We completed the ARC+ Leg 1 in five days and eleven hours. With all the handicaps applied our final position was 22nd out of the 92 boats, and fifth in our division of nineteen – a great result!

After very calm winds at the start, the weather was perfect for the passage – 15-20 knots of wind generally from behind. We poled out the genoa, put a preventer on the main, and let her fly. Even the swell wasn’t too bad.

We’ve now had a few days in Cape Verde. There were surprisingly few snags on the boat so we’ve done some tourism, driving around the island of St Vicente and yesterday visiting the neighbouring island of Santo Antào. Spectacular scenery!

Cape Verde
Cape Verde

On Friday we start leg 2 – 2000nm to Grenada – wish us luck!