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St Helena Island - Some interesting information

Saint Helena Island is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the world's most isolated islands.


Capital Jamestown
Currency Saint Helena pound (SHP), UK pound sterling (GBP)
Area 121km²
Population 4,255
Language English
Religion Anglican, Roman Catholic

The RMS St Helena does regular round-trips from Cape Town to St Helena, sometimes via Walvis Bay. It also makes frequent trips to Ascension Island. Direct trips by sea from the UK are no longer possible after the ship set sail from Portland, Dorset, on 14 October 2011. The ship itself, however, is a fantastic experience. Filled with the locals travelling home and tourists, it is a great opportunity to meet some very interesting people and talk more about Saint Helena before you arrive. The staff have planned some fun activities that seem like a home-made version of what you might get on big cruise ships. These are truly charming. Cricket on the deck for the Curry Cup is a must! Unfortunately, the RMS St Helena will be withdrawn from service when the new airport opens in early 2016.

So what is there to do on an Island. 

To see : Jamestown

  • The Museum of Saint Helena is a great place to start your visit, though like most other attractions, the hours are very limited. The museum is located in an early 19th century warehouse at the foot of Jacob's Ladder in Jamestown. It has a variety of exhibits on the island's history and natural history. It was established in 2002, so the information is up to date and the installations are beautiful.
  • The Cenotaph on the wharf in Jamestown includes the names of all Saints who died in the two world wars, including those who perished in a German U-boat attack in James Harbor in 1941.

  • c_130_130_16777215_00___images_Facts_about_places_jacobsladder-l.jpgc_130_130_16777215_00___images_Facts_about_places_018-view-over-town-st-helena3.jpg
    Jacob's Ladder is the somewhat misnamed staircase that rises from Jamestown to Half Tree Hollow high above. It is said to have 699 steps. The "Ladder" was built in 1829 as an inclined plane to bring goods down from the farming areas in the centre of the island, and manure up out of town. The planes are on either side of the steps, and the cart on one side was used to counterweight the cart on the other. The Ladder is a prodigious climb, and very few are the tourists who can climb it in one go. In addition to its length, its stairs are somewhat high, making the climb all the more difficult. There are railings, but no landings for the entire length, and those who are afraid of heights may not want to look down! If you see a kid around, you might want to ask them to show you how to slide down the railings; they are reputed to have invented a way to do this scary feat without killing themselves. The Ladder is lit at night.
  • Heart-Shaped Waterfall. You might be excused for thinking that the water itself falls in the shape of a heart, but really this waterfall is so named because of the heart-shaped rock over which it falls. It can be seen from the north road out of Jamestown or walk to the foot of the 90m fall,simply follow the valley up from Jamestown. Details at the St Helena National Trust.
Just to name a few.

The island must be one of the safest places on earth. Crime is practically non-existent, though there is a jail with a few inmates. You can feel comfortable walking at night anywhere on the island. There are no bugs or animals of concern (with the exception of scorpions). The only safety issue might be falls for those who want to do some climbing. Law, order and security on the island is provided by the St. Helena Police Service.



So for those who had enough of the 8 to 5 daily routines, grab the next boat leaving and go and enjoy a nice quite life on this beautiful Island. 

Visitors from all over

For the last couple of weeks we have been home to two beautiful vessels and their wonderful owners. Here is a little background on them.


Colin Hunter and Milin Lim started in 2004 on their journey around the world. It all started in Majorca, or Mallorca  is an island located in the Mediterranean Sea. It is the largest island in the Balearic Islands archipelago, in Spain.

They both quit their jobs to travel. Sounds like a really nice why to start an early retirement. 

They left Yachtport SA and are en route to the Caribbean with a stop at St Helena island, tropical island of volcanic origin in the South Atlantic Ocean.

We wish them a safe journey and hope that one day we will see them again.



Another wonderful couple Herbert and Christine Grasshoff. They arrived in November 2014 at YPSA and was on hardstand for a couple of months. They left her in our good hands and went back home for a while. They returned and after we gave her some TLC, she is back in the water and ready for her next adventure. 

Also going to the Caribbean with a stop at St Helena Island. 


March tip for the month - Casting off

When casting off, always use a short end of rope.

Between about 5 and 10% of the time, when a rope is cast off from a pontoon, it snags on the cleat instead of sliding cleanly off.


If this happens on a windy day, the results could be disastrous! The yacht is often trapped against other boats or the end of the pontoon, causing considerable damage.

To reduce the risk, the crew should be briefed, to have a very short end of rope to be pulled through, preferably one without any splices. This may take a little bit of juggling to arrange-but it will eventually be worth it.

Other causes of ropes jamming are:


  • Trying to flick the rope off the cleat, sometimes it jams on!
  • Throwing the end of the rope on the pontoon to keep it dry.
  • Eye or back splices in the end of the rope.

As an extra safety measure, the end of the rope made fast to the boat, must be easily released under load. If is tied to the cleat with a Bowline or attached incorrectly on the cleat, and the shore end jams, there is no way to release the boat end without cutting the rope.

Source: http://www.sailtrain.co.uk

February Tip of the month

Preparation for leaving harbour

If you are leaving a harbour that you are not familiar with it can be a good idea to walk out on the sea wall or near the entrance to identify the initial marks and directions to be taken.

At the same time a good impression can be gained of the likely sea state and weather conditions.

Remember that even if you have only entered the harbour on the previous day, when you depart the marks will be completely different when the vessel is heading in the reverse direction.

The first 20 minutes or so of any passage are some of the busiest. The skipper needs to deal with the pilotage, shipping, raising sails and any factors relating to the crew. Anything the skipper can do to make the first few minutes easier can reduce the work load considerably.


Source: http://www.sailtrain.co.uk

When importing items into South Africa (not using an Agent)

In the last couple of weeks, I have been asked a few questions regarding the import of items and what happens when the parcel arrives in South Africa. 

Although you have paid for the items as well as for the delivery, you will need to pay for the Import duties this side. 

You will receive an SAD500 form indicating an amount. The items will not be released until this amount has been paid. 

According to SARS (I have phoned them to confirm this) you can claim this back once you leave the country again.


If you are unclear about this, please contact me and I will gladly assist you.


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