After nearly 6 weeks free cruising in South Africa sailing from Richards Bay to the V&A in Cape Town stopping on the way to East London, Port Elizabeth and Mossel Bay catching the right weather window the World ARC fleet made of 14 yachts was ready to depart on the 06th of January 2018 across the South Atlantic Ocean.
Busy week back onto the boat for some of the participants after they flew back home for Christmas and New Year or renting house in the surrounding of Cape Town. Participants gathered all together for the World ARC cocktail and farewell evening at the MareSol restaurant, a good opportunity to get everyone back together. On the following morning the fleet was successfully cleared out from the V&A marina and received all the information about the next Leg at the skipper’s briefing.
Taking the start with good wind condition but a little bit of fog the fleet quickly disappear leaving Table Mountain behind them for 1700NM to St-Helena. During their passage the fleet experienced good wind condition, consistent SEasterl’y trade wind providing by the big high pressure system sitting in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, easy sail flying spinnakers during the day and goose winged during the night. After 10 days at sea the 1st boat started to arrive in James Town bay in St-Helena.
On arrival boat picked up a mooring buoys that was allocated by the Harbour Master, Customs officers boarded the boat for a quick inspection, before the crew were allowed to get ashore taking the little water taxi provided by the harbour.
Once ashore the crew visited the Immigration office, as well as the bank to change any currency onto St-Helena pounds, before gathering together at Ann’s place enjoying a cold beer and good food while using the most expensive 30min wifi available on the island.
Once all the boats started to arrive, participants went on a Napoleon and Scenic tour, a good way to learn about the place and history that made St-Helena so famous. Participants visited Napoleon’s house, as well as his tomb, drove to Diana’s peak, and saw the famous airport. They also enjoyed the nice view on top of the hill after walking up the 699 steps of the Jacob’s ladder drinking a cold beer at Rosies Bar on top of it.
Unfortunately this year the fleet arrived a little bit earlier of the Whale sharks season, however this did not discourage the fleet to get onto a Whale Shark tour, but no whale were spotted this year. But the day was not completely lost as on the same night the St-Helena Tourism board kindly invited all the participants for a great pizza night. That evening every participants received a welcome bag as well as free pizza, and enjoyed the live band music dancing until they had to take the last water taxi back to the boats.
After a busy 72h stop in St-Helena the 1st boat started to get ready to leave, organizing some repairs, fuel and water delivery with James from St-Helena Yacht Services, to sail the 1910NM to get in Salvador on time for the Carnival.