Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What the Saints did Next

The Saints are the people who live on St Helena Island, a remote island in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean. They live on a mountain of rock that comes straight up out of the ocean, with steep cliffs all round and nary a beach to be seen. The terrain is very convoluted, with deep valleys and mountain passes. Until now, the only way to reach St Helena has been by boat or ship but soon an airport will be completed, making the island more accessible to others and opening up the world to the islanders. This is an interesting place to visit on Google Earth, to see how remote and inhospitable it is. The new airport can also be seen; consider the mammoth task that it must be taking to create it with the minimal resources available on the island. I imagine that much equipment and material has been shipped in over the past few years to accomplish this.
Saloon view of "Black Cat". Photo courtesy of What The Saints Did Next.
St Helena is the finishing point for the Governors Cup Yacht Race, sailed from False Bay Yacht Club in Simonstown on the western side of False Bay, South Africa, every two years. It was also the place to which Napoleon Bonaparte was banished for his second imprisonment. It was far enough away from anywhere else that he was not able to get up to any more mischief.

What The Saints Did Next is the blog for the island, which helps to keep the world up to date with whatever is happening on the island. The blog has a great post about "Black Cat" and her win in the most recent edition of the race. It includes an interview with the crew about the race and life aboard, as well as a bunch of really nice photos of "Black Cat" and crew.

I hope that I can be on "Black Cat" for her next voyage in this race. Visiting St Helena is on my bucket list as a place to visit. An ancestor of mine and the first Dix to settle in Cape Town arrived from St Helena. What he was doing there I don't know, possibly a soldier guarding Napoleon.

"Black Cat" is the prototype of my Didi 38 design and forerunner of all of my radius chine plywood designs. Visit our website at for more info on my designs.