Atlantic ocean

P’iti Filou: calm and tranquility in the middle of the South Atlantic.

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The crossing didn't hold any surprises, with downwind winds of 10 to 30 knots. After 11 days at sea, we arrived at this volcanic rock in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, between Africa and South America. The airport had just been inaugurated and there had been the first commercial flight. It's an amazing stopover destination. St Helena is best known as the location of Napoleon's exile, but the island is full of man-made riches and wonderful landscapes.  Saint Helena is all about the welcome, the simplicity, kindness and English charm on a rocky outcrop. Here, everybody knows each other, and you mustn't forget to say hello! The island's flora and fauna are rich, with both verdant and dry areas. The island has to put up with big winter storms, but the summers are mild. There are breathtaking cliffs, and a number of trails will take you around the island. The anchorages are not bad, but there can be a little bit of swell. Getting off the Taxi Boat and holding on to the ropes in a heavy swell can be very tricky. Once on land, take the famous staircase with its 699 steps and it will take you up to a most incredible view, overlooking your anchorage on one side and Jamestown on the other. It is mainly remembered for Napoleon's last days, but the island was also used to imprison Boer prisoners.

The island has just ended a century of isolation by opening an airport, with commercial flights landing and taking off. We spent five days discovering this wonderful destination that really is in the middle of nowhere. It's all about tranquility, calm and patience, and from time to time the RMS (Royal Mail Service) stops by. It is now in its final throes, but it has been an important part of the 4500 islanders' lives up until today.

Boat: Barramoundi 470

Who: Lilou, Pierre, Véro.

Where: Island of Saint Helena, Southern Atlantic Ocean.


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