Tag Archives | south atlantic

ascension wideawake airfield

Ascension Island: remote South Atlantic

Uninhabited before it was encountered by Portuguese sailors in the 1500s, Ascension’s lonely position in the middle of, well, more or less nowhere in the South Atlantic made it a place of strategic importance since. In the age of commerce under sail, it was a place to water up (once a source was found) and […]

niall on deck for arrival in ascension

Passage notes: St Helena to Ascension

Graying dawn had barely begun to lighten the sky when we left St Helena under a nearly full moon. The distance to Ascension – a little over 700 nautical miles – was slightly awkward. Leave in the daytime, and we’d arrive at night, something we really did NOT want to do. So we departed in […]

gorgeous coastline

St Helena for cruisers

On one hand, St Helena is an obvious choice for boats heading NW from Cape Town: it’s along the path of a logical route, whether you are pointing to Brazil or to the Caribbean. So it’s surprising that quite a few of the boats passing through during our two week stay were doing just that: […]

beautiful st helena

Distinctively St Helena

St Helena is unique in many ways, and many we’ve been able to experience firsthand during our week so far – coupled with the sincere friendliness of everyone we’ve met, it’s going to be a hard place to leave. I’ve confessed to falling in love a little with every destination, but this is different: I’m […]

1 rocky cliffs st helena

Exploring St Helena

St Helena is exceptionally isolated. The nearest point on Africa – Angola – is about a thousand miles away. Brazil is nearly 2,000. There weren’t any humans here in 1502 when Portuguese were first reported to visit. Arriving by boat, the steep rock face of the cliffs may not seem inviting, but for hundreds of […]

Bulwers petrel bird

Passage notes: Namibia to St Helena, part II

Halfway to St. Helena at a steady pace, more than 180 miles fall behind Totem on our fifth day at sea. We originally expected to have more than eight days on this passage, but weather like this could make it fly a little faster. Every day is warmer: no question that this is the tropics […]

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Passage Notes: Namibia to St Helena

The steady thrum of Totem’s Yanmar beat the departure march from Walvis Bay. Heading out under foggy skies, there’s precious little wind to tackle 1200 nautical miles and change to St Helena. That’s fine: much as we’d rather sail, this gets the battery bank fully charged, and the watermaker will run for hours; things we […]

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