We all went on the ARC tour of the island for the day. All very interesting. We visited Napoleon’s tomb (although he is not there any longer – the French dug him up some time ago and took him to France to be a hero rather than a bad guy in St H) We went to his prison/house but couldn’t take photos inside. Lots of portraits of him in his better times. He lived in his place for many years with his faithful valet and a couple of his generals. Under constant guard where ever he went, must have been galling after his romp all over Europe. The island from the sea just looks like a very inhospitable rock but the interior is extremely lush and evidently receives a lot of rain. We couldn’t believe that they don’t grow more of their own produce here instead of relying on shipments from Cape Town. It seems that the young people don’t want to stay or farm and the older people are dying out. We went to High Knoll Fort. We all wished we could go back to being 10 years old! It’s a ruin really but with underground tunnels and dungeons and parapets – all open and accessible to anyone! What a magic playground! We drove to the Govenor’s mansion and saw their big old tortoise. The new airport has a runway that ends off a cliff! No going back there! We took a fake photo of Pete on the top of Jacob’s ladder pretending he climbed it.(600 plus steps nearly vertical!) It was originally built to haul goods up to and down from the top of the cliff. That evening the St Helena Yacht Club hosted a Braii (BBQ) at sunset right on the waterfront at their club rooms. Very hospitable of them and lots of fun. Three guys turned up tonight to weld the stainless cracks for us. Luckily they were on the island working on the new airport! We also have some container tie down straps in place until we can get the poles refabricated. The ferry ride to and from the boats is wild! You can’t take your own dinghy because of the swell. So you call up the ferry on channel 16 (sometimes he responds sometimes not!) then to get ashore you have to grab knotted ropes and Tarzan swing onto the dock!
This day we all went out on two boats to look for whale sharks! We headed back the way we arrived looking out for their tail fins that show above the water as they bask around swallowing plankton. Sure enough there they were! Only eight people are allowed in at once and no closer than 3 metres. It was a bit hard to stay far away as they sort of move towards you with no fear! We were on the smaller boat with only eight of us so we went in each time we found one. To use a very overworked word – awesome! Pete took some good GoPro footage that I have lifted some frames from.
Spent a day in the town trying to get internet and doing last minute top up shopping – not very successful due to limited supplies for the whole island. Galen and Dustin actually climbed Jacob’s ladder! We left the island at 5.15 to head for Salvador.