St Helena from the Galaxy
The past two weekends have presented opportunities to see and enjoy St Helena as a tourist which has been a real treat. The weather has been lovely most of the time with blue skies and white picture perfect clouds.
The first opportunity was to spend a day on the Galaxy which is one of the yachts moored in Jamestown bay. She is awaiting her crew to take her to her permanent home in the west of Scotland. Until that time she needs to go out on a sail every now and then just to keep all parts in working order. A picnic was packed and with the promise of some fishing to boot off we went.
As the air temperature here is a pretty constant 18C to 23C being out in the open on the water is no hardship. In fact the breeze and scenery make any outing memorable. Sun protection is a must as is plenty of water to drink.
We sailed (well motored under sail as we were heading into the wind) along the coast to the far eastern end of the island which took around 3 hours at a very leisurely pace. The island from a boat looks quite formidable as the brown volcanic cliffs are void of vegetation and life. It’s not until you look inland that the green abundant interior can be spotted. Sea birds come and go, some perching on the vessel. A pod of about 30 or so dolphins rushes past in pursuit of a school of fish I presume. I think the dolphins had more success than we did as our attempt at catching anything was scuppered by the speed of the boat which according to our skipper needs to be at least five knots before anything will bite. The most important fish in this area is tuna which is caught most of the year. Perhaps more success next time.
Getting ready for the great meal!
Last Sunday I was invited to a very special weekend event and one I had been looking forward to since my first visit here: A Saint Picnic! This is a very popular tradition, with the fabulous weather (when not raining) and countryside offering the perfect setting for dining outdoors. Now a Saint Picnic is not quite the same as our UK equivalent. This is because basically its Sunday lunch taken to a lovely location and then spread out (table cloth and all) and eaten outdoors.
Pam who is one of my main contacts on the island and her family took me to Sandy Bay on the south side where we unloaded, hot roast chicken, stuffing, curry, rice, veggies including roast potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots, pasta and sausages. The table was set with cutlery and a cloth and looked just like it should have been in someone’s dining room. Two servings of curry and chicken and I was feeling pretty relaxed and also quite full. It was at this stage that the desserts were revealed! Out of a cool box came jelly with fruit, cakes and a lovely pecan pie. No wonder we all managed to eat these. Knowing Pam as I now do I wasn’t surprised to see her next offering out of one of the many bags and boxes: A choice of teas or coffee to follow the meal…brilliant!
The quality of life on St Helena is so rich with such a strong foundation on family values. There were four generations of Pam’s family at the picnic, and one tourist. It was a real privilege to be a part of their weekend and a memory I will cherish for a very long time.