Video Journal: Days 18-19

Day 18, 4th of July 2007 Wednesday

Its 12:30 at night so not technically still Wednesday. Its Thursday and today is the day (after what remains of a good night's sleep) that we will put the boat back in the water. I have been sitting inside all day with intermittent rain falling on the street outside, going through the editing of some of the footage from here on St Helena. It's been long and interesting, and I have gotten a good start. While I have been working on my computer, Deon and Andre have been working on the bottom of the boat, painting it with anti-fouling and getting it ship shape. I also edited a small article I did for the St Helena Independent newspaper, about my interview with the governor of the island on Sunday morning. That should be live on the website soon, so have a look at the official line from the British government about conservation and the airport and the environment here on St Helena. I am going to sleep now on the studio sofa next to my impromptu editing suit set up in the boardroom of Saint FM, and try to get my head down. We are supposed to be leaving tomorrow so it will be more squalls and sea before I get to sleep next.

Day 19, 5th of July 2007 Thursday

Today the boat is back in the water. That's a relief for everyone, since if something had gone wrong today, that would have been the end of our trip. Its nice to be back in my bunk aboard the yacht, and even nicer since we haven't left yet and don't have to stand watch. We can't leave on a Friday, its bad luck for journeys…and far from saying we have had a run a bad luck, I am thanking Neptune that wore hasn't happened to us. So our luck holds. Luck seems to play a large part in the seaman's lore and thoughts. I have always believed in following the signs and keeping sharp for new twists and turns, both great and not so great,but in the sea, when things turn against you, there does seem to be some sort luck force out there. So hopefully our luck will hold, like the patch on the bottom of the ship. I find myself not wanting to say certain things, like counting on good stuff, and focusing on what is going right, right now. Nothing is for certain out here until it happens. I guess there is some sort of argument to make about that translating into a broader parable for humanity, but it is late and whatever that might be seems to slip by me. So the trip continues. As for our project and the great fact that I have had much longer than I expected to get things done here and have made good use of that time…well I think I am pretty fortunate. Am I getting superstitious? Tomorrow morning early the RMS St Helena calls into our little town. It's the main vestige of civilization that most people on this island see. The ship comes about once every two to three weeks circulating between Cape Town, Namibia and Ascension Island. It brings all the cars, windows, pots, coffee makers, papers and everything else that makes up the modern life of the Saints. Since there is not dock to speak of, it moors out in the bay and tug boats get loaded up with containers and bring them to the edge of the breakwater and the same crane that lifted us out and plopped us back in the water so deftly picks them all up and they are emptied and put back on board. Very little leaves this island except for people it seems. I was chatting to some students today and they all wanted to leave visit somewhere else, much like youth the world over. But unlike most youth, these kids have very few job prospects, British citizenship and most probably won't come back here to stay ever again. Everywhere you see and meet and get greeted by elderly people. They fill the bars and dance to saxophone music at the Standard Bar. I keep thinking that the rest of the world could learn much from St Helena, and so here is another thing. Life does not end at 65. Tomorrow we are buying bread from a 70yr old baker who works out of his home. He is very proud of his bread, and we are happy to have it. I am going to miss this place very much.