Blogs from Saint Helena, Atlantic, Oceans and Seas


Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Saint Helena April 9th 2016

The Namibian coast is subject to heavy fogs due to the interaction of the cold Benguela current from the South and the hot wind off the Namib desert which stretches for over 2000 kilometres to the North of Walvis Bay. It is notorious for the number of shipwrecks - over 1000 - that litter its aptly named Skeleton Coast. It has more than 180 days of thick fog a year which, while a hazard for shipping, is a vital source of moisture for the desert life. Indeed, when the Astor entered the harbour, the fog was so thick that we could hardly see the coastline. It wasn't until we were almost alongside the dock that the fog lifted enough for us to see anything. Walvis Bay is the only natural harbour in Namibia. It is a ... read more
Tai Chi
Walvis Bay
St Helena - Old Fort

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Saint Helena April 30th 2015

Upon leaving Africa we began our 26 day island hopping odyssey from south to north and from east to west all the way to Florida. It is a great way for the world cruise to wind down. After all the heavy duty touring and safaris in Africa, it's time to relax and reflect and, of course, start packing. On the other hand there is still lots of exploring to be done in these interesting islands we are calling on. The first, St Helena, is perhaps the most historic of these specks in the ocean. It is three days by sea to reach the place where Napoleon was banished and where he eventually died. It was also used by the British as a prisoner of war camp during the Boer War. It is always a gamble as ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Saint Helena January 27th 2014

28 Jan – 3rd Feb Most of this trip we had very light winds in fact, we used the MPS (Multi-purpose sail) for 4 days straight – even carried it overnight. First 2 days of the trip we were wing and wing, and sailing 6kts or more, but then we lost the wind. Boomerang had left a day before us and Frida were sailing behind. Can’t see them but know they’re both out there. Phil got a massive fish on the line, it took heaps of line straight down and there was nothing Phil could do to get it up, eventually it just stopped, and even then he couldn’t pull it in. Then suddenly the line snapped and both were free. Not worried about losing something that big – don’t want to even try and land ... read more
Having 'church' on deck
otherwise known as pretty coloured sail
Hello Ascension

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Saint Helena January 24th 2014

25 – 28 Jan ST Helena Absolutely LOVE St Helena. Had a few days here, pottering around and exploring. A little ferry boat comes out to collect yachties on the hour as there is no dinghy landing. It costs 2 pound per person return trip. Top biggest highlight was swimming with the whale sharks. We just hopped in our zodi about 4pm and headed out about a mile off to sea. Then, when you see the dorsal fin and tail, you head towards it, jump in the water and try to keep up. The one we swam with often returned back to check us out, so we really didn’t have to swim very far. The first time I jumped in, I was following it around (and boy they can move fast although it looks slow) so ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Saint Helena March 29th 2013

Dark Sky Week Well, how long is a year? We know all the numbers, don’t we but there is something miraculous and strange that from our own point of view, time is not constant. A year away from family, friends and hometown has been longer than I imagined it to be. My geriatric gap year has been as full of fun, challenge, interest and difference as I imagined it to be – I know that it will stand out to be one of the best years of my life – but a year is still a jolly long time. Reflecting back, there is a year of public events in the UK and the rest of the world that scarcely rippled the quiet surface of life on St Helena. The South Atlantic Media Services (SAMS) news which ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Saint Helena March 10th 2013

Sticky Knickers Well, a whiff of cordite in the air this week. A few weeks ago a very glossy prospectus was produced by Enterprise St Helena (a NGO, publically funded, charged with regenerating the island’s economy alongside the airport project) featuring some very comprehensive changes suggested for Jamestown. Now, the island’s capital (think Much Wenlock rather than London or New York) will no longer be the entry point to the island once the airport opens, the RMS is decommissioned and goods are taken to the wharf at neighboring Rupert’s Bay. So, as with all communities preparing themselves for a tourist-based economy, changes do need to be made. Jamestown is, apparently, the best example of a Georgian town in the southern hemisphere (yes, I’m sure that there must be another one somewhere) but, if truth be told ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Saint Helena February 12th 2013

Road Closures Congratulations to our friend Richard who started his job as Senior Editor for the St Helena Broadcasting (guarantee) Corporation Ltd (SHBC) yesterday. You will notice the title ‘Senior’, not ‘Junior’ nor ‘Chief’ not even “foreign’ or ‘Sport’. ‘Senior’ sounds pretty impressive, a post of some status within a complex hierarchy of editors that might make up this arm of the ‘Corporation Ltd.’ I spoke with Richard today (off the record, of course) about his new post and it was a little disappointing to read that he might, in fact, be the only editor within the organization. On the other hand, his title extends beyond the world of newsprint and on-line journalism (I will of course be keeping up to date with the stories, fictions and reports that make up the weekly potpourris that makes ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Saint Helena January 20th 2013

As I would say to the Governor …. It’s amazing what a spot of sunshine can do! I have been following the trials and tribulations of folk in the UK suffering (or, sometimes enjoying) the first few winter flakes of snow and have felt just a tinge of regret that I can’t be there to witness it. Then I look out of my window and see the impact that the summer sun has on the colours of the landscape and sea around me. One thing that I have only just realized (and I’m sure that it’s one of those things that everyone in the whole wide world realized when they were only knee high to a grasshopper) is that the sun doesn’t set in the same place the whole year round. When I first arrived on ... read more
From Diana'S Peak

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Saint Helena January 13th 2013

Broadcasting Exchange The grey cloud that hung over St Helena as the RMS anchored in James Bay rather reflected my mood returning to the island after a short but lovely Christmas trip to Blighty. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to return to the island that has been host to my geriatric gap-year but, rather, mixed feelings about returning only for a few weeks to the truncated project that I have led since August 2011. The professional project I have led has been (so far) a great success with school colleagues working so hard to change and improve their practice. The improvement has been so remarkable that we are expecting 70% of pupils to be level 4 and above in English and mathematics (Level 4 being the age related expectation) compared to 50% in 2012 and ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Saint Helena December 16th 2012

Where’s Che Guevara? My last 2012 blog from St Helena so I need to keep you up to date with events on the South Atlantic isle. Well, the weather reminds me very much of summer in England. A glorious, blue-sky day with a wonderfully comfortable temperature brings us out in our summer best – both clothing and temperamentally. We look forward to the summer and have a notion of what the next few months are going to be like. Only to be confounded by the reality of tomorrow – cloud, a very gentle shower and only the merest glimpse of blue sky. ‘This is the worst summer since, well I don’t know when…’ – sound familiar. Truth be told, the summer has been a bit of a disappointment so far – at least its warm but ... read more

Tot: 0.171s; Tpl: 0.005s; cc: 6; qc: 78; dbt: 0.0859s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.2mb