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Old 22-05-2016, 11:20   #1
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St. Helena?

I was reading something about Longwood House on St. Helena - Napoleon's residence during his exile.

Apparently, it's been turned into some sort of museum.

Seems like it'd be an interesting enough place to visit, if you happened to be on the island. But how many people visit the island? I mean, yes, they're building an airport, but it's not operating yet, and until it does the only access is the Royal Mail Ship St. Helena, from Cape Town, which takes a week each way and runs once a month.

In other words, I'd have to think that most of its tourists would be visiting cruisers, stopping by on their way through the S. Atlantic.

Anyone here stop by the place?
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Old 22-05-2016, 11:58   #2
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Re: St. Helena?

There was a blog on here (lower right hand corner of the page, Sailblogs) a few weeks ago from a fellow sailing from S. Africa via St. Helena to the Caribbean. He posted a lot of information. You'll have to do a search to find it.
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Old 22-05-2016, 12:26   #3
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Re: St. Helena?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdege View Post
I was reading something about Longwood House on St. Helena - Napoleon's residence during his exile.

Apparently, it's been turned into some sort of museum.

Seems like it'd be an interesting enough place to visit, if you happened to be on the island. But how many people visit the island? I mean, yes, they're building an airport, but it's not operating yet, and until it does the only access is the Royal Mail Ship St. Helena, from Cape Town, which takes a week each way and runs once a month.

In other words, I'd have to think that most of its tourists would be visiting cruisers, stopping by on their way through the S. Atlantic.

Anyone here stop by the place?
Yes, we stopped at St. Helena - here is a bit of info; svRevelations.com - St. Helena Island
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Old 22-05-2016, 14:06   #4
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Re: St. Helena?

Do enough cruisers stop by to make for a meaningful tourist business?

I mean, if I were crossing the S. Atlantic, I'd make it a point to stop, but not everyone would, and there can't be that many cruisers down there, in any given year. And cruisers are notoriously cheap, in port. I'd hate to try to run a business based on what a they'd spend.
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Old 22-05-2016, 16:19   #5
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Re: St. Helena?

Maybe 50 boats per year would be my guess.
I haven't been, not intend on going.

Sent from a stupid phone that replaces words with weird stuff.
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Old 22-05-2016, 16:32   #6
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Re: St. Helena?

More than 100 boats per year. I was just there.
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Old 22-05-2016, 16:45   #7
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St. Helena?

We made a week long stop there in March this year, dropped in to say hello to Jonathan the oldest living tortoise, climbed Jacobs Steps, swam with Whale Sharks and enjoyed the good hospitality of the Saints. A great place indeed. If you get the chance...don't miss it.
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Old 22-05-2016, 16:47   #8
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Re: St. Helena?

We have been twice - terrific stop.
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Old 22-05-2016, 17:15   #9
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Re: St. Helena?

I'm envious. I've wanted to go there for years. I've hiked the island in my mind, but hopefully will be there in reality someday.
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Old 22-05-2016, 19:32   #10
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Re: St. Helena?

We spent about 10 days in St. Helena this year and there were several things about the island that make it unique.

1. We arrived on a Sunday after an 11-day passage from Namibia. The port captain made special arrangements to have the ferry pick us up (you really don't want to try to land a dinghy there - the surge is spectacular) and he even helped us fill out the forms. There was a fee to be paid but we had no British pounds (or St. Helena pounds) with us and the port captain said, "Of course you don't have any local currency! We don't have an ATM on the island but the bank will be open tomorrow morning, you can get some cash then and pop by afterwards." I don't think I've ever heard an official say something like that to me.

2. The port captain then drove us over to Immigration, which was a short walk but a kindness just the same.

3. The moorings available are first rate, well-engineered and inexpensive.

4. If you're there after the supply ship arrives, provisioning isn't too bad. On the other hand, if the ship hasn't been there for three weeks, the shelves will be pretty bare.

5. There's a guy who runs a still in his garage. He makes a fabulous gin, a respectable rum and a nicely-flavored coffee liqueur.

6. The island's flax industry died out a long time ago but there are many plants left and it makes for some beautiful scenery.

7. We were there before the airport opened (I bought an HLE t-shirt) but the first plane landed, which experienced some significant wind shear, about a month after we left. I'm no pilot but it looked like a terrifying place to land to me.

Well worth the visit. Highly recommended.

Fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 22-05-2016, 21:53   #11
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Re: St. Helena?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Maybe 50 boats per year would be my guess.
I haven't been, not intend on going.

Sent from a stupid phone that replaces words with weird stuff.
The Harbor Master said about 200-300 boats per year.

I was there in October. We hired a driver for an afternoon. Visited Longwood and did the tour. Well worth it.
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Old 22-05-2016, 22:02   #12
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Re: St. Helena?

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Originally Posted by nhschneider View Post
We spent about 10 days in St. Helena this year and there were several things about the island that make it unique.

1. We arrived on a Sunday after an 11-day passage from Namibia. The port captain made special arrangements to have the ferry pick us up (you really don't want to try to land a dinghy there - the surge is spectacular) and he even helped us fill out the forms. There was a fee to be paid but we had no British pounds (or St. Helena pounds) with us and the port captain said, "Of course you don't have any local currency! We don't have an ATM on the island but the bank will be open tomorrow morning, you can get some cash then and pop by afterwards." I don't think I've ever heard an official say something like that to me.

2. The port captain then drove us over to Immigration, which was a short walk but a kindness just the same.

3. The moorings available are first rate, well-engineered and inexpensive.

4. If you're there after the supply ship arrives, provisioning isn't too bad. On the other hand, if the ship hasn't been there for three weeks, the shelves will be pretty bare.

5. There's a guy who runs a still in his garage. He makes a fabulous gin, a respectable rum and a nicely-flavored coffee liqueur.

6. The island's flax industry died out a long time ago but there are many plants left and it makes for some beautiful scenery.

7. We were there before the airport opened (I bought an HLE t-shirt) but the first plane landed, which experienced some significant wind shear, about a month after we left. I'm no pilot but it looked like a terrifying place to land to me.

Well worth the visit. Highly recommended.

Fair winds and calm seas.
+1

The port captain was great.

We missed the distillery

Getting some laundry done was a bit trying.

Do not count on much for provisioning. The only fresh was potatoes, onions and carrots.

Wifi is very slow.

Do not try to exchange St Helena pounds after you leave. Best bet - use British pounds.

Longwood

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Old 22-05-2016, 22:39   #13
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Re: St. Helena?

Airport Opening Ceremony Postponed
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Old 22-05-2016, 23:02   #14
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Re: St. Helena?

Airport has been operational since April British airways completed first flight there in April it's a nice island people where great there I was there in 2014 when anchored in harbour and the swell comes in you do know about it
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Old 26-05-2016, 13:00   #15
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Re: St. Helena?

I have been fortunate to have stopped at St Helena around 35 times over the past 20 years doing deliveries. It is one of the most friendly islands to visit! There are two Napoleon museum houses on the island - Longwood and The Briars. The Briars was where Napoleon spent his first few months before being moved to Longwood.

Not only was St Helena the island where Napoleon was incarcerated, but it was also the site of one of the worlds first concentration camps where Boer prisoners were held during the Anglo Boer war. There is still a Boer cemetery there, which has been fairly well maintained. The sites of the concentration camps hold no sign of them ever being there.

The airport is not open! There are some hazardous technical problems to sort out before it can be officially opened for business. The few ILS calibration flights to the island were completed but the test flight by the Comair 737-800 (in BA livery) turned up some difficult problems to handle and thus the opening of the airport has been delayed until the technical hazards experienced can be sorted.

Most of the fresh provisions are shipped-in from Cape Town onboard the RMS with the ship sailing Cape Town -> St Helena -> Ascension -> St Helena -> Cape Town. This means that you can sail from Cape Town to St Helena, stay a week whilst the ship does the Ascension leg and back, and then take the RMS back to Cape Town.

For those interested, there is a small independently owned (non government) newspaper published each Friday on the island - called The St Helena Independent, which is available for downloading from: http://independent.saint.fm/latest-issues/ just remember it is a small island with only just over 3600 permanent residents.
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