Wild Rumpus carried out like a champ crossing heavy seas as we departed Cape City in winter heading to St Helena. The beating we took confirmed the boat to be strong and the crew succesful (if a bit nauseated), and it additionally revealed a few flaws. Nevertheless, these flaws did nothing to decrease our pleasure at visiting St Helena — some of the distant spots on earth. The novelty of isolation, remoteness, stunning landscapes and just about no web, plus Jonathon, a 190-year-old tortoise — the oldest residing mammal — made this go to 100% definitely worth the effort.
Rode Laborious and Put Away Moist
First, some context. Wild Rumpus was model new and barely sailed earlier than our first quick shakedown up the west coast of Africa. After that, our subsequent sail was 1900 nautical miles to St Helena in comparatively tough seas. Whereas bouncing across the south Atlantic, it occurred to me that if a mean day sail is about 15 nautical miles, then this jaunt was the equal of 126 days of crusing. Additionally, since most sailboats get used at some point every week, that’s about the identical as nearly 2.5 years of use. So, it’s not terribly shocking some stuff broke, chaffed, and so forth.
For a lot of our first leg, we used two headsails in a wing-on-wing configuration — the screecher and the Genoa. You possibly can kinda-sorta see by the helm within the image under how the screecher is on the port/left aspect, and the genoa is on the starboard/proper.
The screecher is raised utilizing the spinnaker halyard. The spinnaker halyard runs from the helm to close the highest of the 79′ mast (the highest crimson line within the photograph under) out a small fairlead, fed right down to create a loop through which the sail block will journey after which returns up to some extent the place it’s tied off just below the block (the decrease portion of the crimson line within the photograph under). So, to be clear, what you see within the photograph under is similar crimson line coming down from the highest of the mast, going to a block we’ve tied off someplace, after which again as much as the place it’s affixed to the mast.
About midway to St. Helena, whereas doing chafe checks on the whole lot, we observed that the spinnaker halyard was fraying within the mast. We stored a watch on it and continued to make use of the sail (not a call I’d make once more in hindsight) all the best way to St. Helena. Whereas moored off St Helena, we lowered the sail and inspected the road, which was in dangerous situation at this level.
We decided (effectively, actually Nik — the Xquisite rep who joined us and could be welcome on the boat and even to convey his household to go to us in California anytime) that the chaffing was contained in the mast, about 6-8′ under the place the road exited. Happily, the road was lengthy sufficient that we (once more, Nik) might lower the road above the chafe, reinforce the chaffing space with Gorilla Tape, and reattach it to the mast.
With the halyard lined in a thick layer of Gorilla Tape, we felt fairly safe utilizing the halyard for our subsequent leg and gave it no extra thought.There have been, in any case, bars ashore to go to.
I’ll talk about this extra because the journey progresses, however I don’t wish to go away anyone in suspense.We did use the sail/halyard to Fernando De Noronha, Brazil. Sadly, the road chaffed by the tape, so we discontinued its use after Brazil, which actually slowed us down. The analysis — when organising the strains, the oldsters who arrange the mast ran the spinnaker halyard on the mistaken aspect of the . . . . anticipate it . . . . . anti-chaffing bolt.
Water Maker Challenge
No photos for this one, nevertheless it was such a dumb mistake that I put it out right here as a warning for brand spanking new boat homeowners to take a look at EVERYTHING. The corporate that put in the water maker and signed off on its commissioning put in the charcoal filter however did not take away the plastic wrapping from the filter. Doh! Finally, this didn’t trigger any long-term issues, but when we hadn’t caught it, it could ultimately have led to costly repairs. And as soon as once more, after I say “we” caught it, I imply Nik.
St Helena is an odd spot. It’s extremely distant and remoted, having only one flight in/out each different week. The island barely has web, makes use of its personal foreign money (and no one else’s), doesn’t use bank cards (again to the web downside), and has a rope swing guests use to get on and off the ferry.
The ferry approaches the seawall, and visitors anticipate the swell to convey the ferry excessive sufficient to seize the road and soar ashore.
As soon as on land, the preliminary view isn’t all that grand as a result of it’s crowded with very outdated buildings and plenty of new cargo containers. However, as we’d later be taught, a type of outdated buildings on the left homes the St Helena Yacht Membership, the place we had been made to really feel very welcome!! (And, they noticed us some beer till we might get to the financial institution the subsequent day and get St Helena $).
After immigration and customs, we walked into Jamestown — the principle city on St Helena.
As you possibly can see, the city is nestled in a valley with some fairly improbable views.
We additionally visited Napoleon’s dwelling. Weirdly, Napoleon’s exile home is a French territory, and there’s a French Consulate on the island. Think about what little bit of jackassery some French diplomat will need to have engaged in to finish up exiled to St Helena. 😉 (kidding, after all, it was pretty)
Napoleon’s home can also be the house of Jonathon, the 190-year-old tortoise believed to be the oldest residing mammal.
Extra to Come
We stated goodbye to Nik on St Helena and departed for Fernando De Noronha — a voyage of one other 1800 miles. Keep tuned.