Yachtmaster Sailing School
~ Excellence in Sail Training ~
In the past various South African coastal passages have been accepted as fulfilling the requirements for this passage.
The RYA now will only accept an ocean passage of at least 600 nm.
This leaves a passage to St Helena as almost the only option.
To accommodate this we have now Included the St Helena Trip into our 18 Week RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Career Course at No Extra Cost!
We will sail from Cape Town along the coast calling at Saldanha Bay, Lambert's Bay and Port Nolloth on the Northern Cape Coast and then Luderitzbucht and Walvis Bay in Namibia.
Depending on weather conditions we may be able to explore the coast taking in places like the giant rock arch at Bogenfels and the islands like Possession.
Sometimes fog is encountered which can test your navigation.
You will have the opportunity to act as Skipper on some of these coastal passages and develop your pilotage skills by conning the vessel into these remote bays and harbours.
The route is through some of the richest fishing waters on the planet and the sea life is awesome.
From Walvis Bay there is a 1000nm reach across to St Helena and for this passage we will navigate by sextant only
Then perhaps in the dawn you may see a Tropic Bird which indicates land is not far.
The Island of St Helena is one of the most remote Islands in the World.
From the time of it's discovery in 1505 by the Portuguese Explorers until now it has only been accessible by sea, but this will come to an end when the Airport is finally completed in 2016.
For the moment its isolation is intact and you will have the privilege of exploring this fascinating and strange Island before it changes forever.
It is a volcanic seamount on the Mid Atlantic Ridge with dark and forbidding sea cliffs rising straight out of the sea. Approaching from the South East a landing seems impossible until suddenly Jamestown appears, nestled in its narrow valley.
The anchorage is on the North West coast off Jamestown and landing can be exciting. Far distant hurricanes can send their swells hurrying from the north to make a landing impossible.
Usually the anchorage is safe and sheltered from the South East Trades but your vessel must be securely anchored lest it disappears over the northern horizon while you enjoy a pint at Anne's Place.
" . . .enjoy a pint at Anne's Place."
After a few days rest we will set out on the return leg to Saldanha Bay.
This is a challenge and considerable planning and studying of GRIB files is needed to decide the route to be followed. Usually this is a port tack down south until the wind backs allowing us to arc round towards the Cape. Far to the South West the islands of Tristan da Cunha are the nearest land and we are truly on our own on the deep blue sea.
Sometimes one encounters a ship but mostly the sky forms an unbroken blue bowl overhead and the horizon is empty except for the birds.
Our trusty Navigators will bring us safely home across this vast expanse and we may see the Light at Cape Colombine welcoming us to Saldanha after two weeks at sea.
There we will relax and replay the trip in our minds before preparing for our Yachtmaster Offshore Exam.
Is to Provide You with Excellence in Sail Training
To make good this Promise, we Undertake
to give You First Class Instruction
by using Only Properly Qualified and Well Informed Instructors
by using Only Well Designed and Fully Equipped Sail Training Vessels
by sharing our Knowledge, Skill and Expertise gained by Hard Experience
to keep You Safe
by Applying our Safety Policy at All Times
by the Vigilance and Care of our Instructors
by Keeping our Vessels in a Sound Seaworthy Condition
to treat You as our Guest
by behaving with Courtesy and Respect
by teaching with Patience and Understanding
by dealing with You with Fairness and Transparency
You will receive help and advice in selecting the Right Course for You.
This is our Promise to you to help you to Achieve Your Goals