Day 101, Year 6 Tour of St. Helena
Date: Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Weather: Sunny with Intermittent Low Clouds and Drizzle
Location: James Bay, St. Helena Island

Today we did the whirlwind tour of this beautiful, mountainous island. We went in the back of a Datsun pick-up truck with a canvas top. It was just the right size for the five adults and two children on our tour. Lisa and Paul of Kire (Germany) and their two little ones, Arne aged 4 and Charles aged 2, plus Swante of Chaconne (Finland), and Mark and I were the passengers. Our driver Robert, a local man who used to drive the school bus and has retired to tour guide, was wonderful. He gave us the formal history of the island as well as the personal view. We saw the beauty of the mountains, learned all about Napoleon’s exile here, visited Longwood where Napoleon spent his last years, learned much about the agricultural history of the island, visited the Governor’s home called the Plantation House and met Jonathan, 179 year-old tortoise who was brought here in the late 1800’s from the Seychelles, and ended our day at the top of Jacob’s Ladder, the 699 steps that lead down to Jamestown from Ladder Hill. It was a jam-packed day, but most enjoyable. And we learned so much.

We no sooner got back to Windbird that we had visitors–Mary Ann and Larry of Traversay from Vancouver, Canada. We met them briefly in Simon’s Town and had a great time getting to know each other this evening. They came over in their dinghy for an impromptu Happy Hour and then invited us back to their boat for dinner. They went home to get dinner started and then Larry came back to get us. Traversay is a 45-foot steel boat with SO much room inside. It is a beautiful boat and we had a lovely dinner and evening. Mary Ann is a musician and when they had their boat built, they specified room for a full-size electronic piano to be installed on a slider that goes under their bed. Before we left Traversay tonight, we got a little concert. How delightful!

Tomorrow will be a workday. We need to get fuel and water for the long trek ahead and since that needs to be ferried out here jerry can by jerry can, it could be a long day. But hopefully by the end of the day tomorrow, we will be ready to leave for the Caribbean. We plan to stick around on Friday to make Skype calls to our children, and then take off on Saturday morning if the weather looks right. Friday night there is a cruiser-organized dinner at Anne’s Place, a restaurant in town, so that will be the perfect send-off for our almost 4,000 mile trek.

110202 Day 101 St. Helena–Island Tour