New moorings in St. Helena
New moorings at James Bay in St. Helena
Marinas and boatyards know that one way to get more people to visit is to upgrade the facilities. That's what the government of the island of St. Helena did. It recently installed 25 new moorings for vessels up to 50 tons and 60 LOA. But don't expect to use one of the moorings unless you're committed to some serious ocean sailing. The 47-square mile island of St. Helena, off the west coast of Africa, is 1,200-miles from the nearest land mass. The island is famous for being the last stop of Napoleon. And it was picked for that distinction by the British due to its lonely location in the South Atlantic. Napoleon was able to get away from the Mediterranean island of Elba just 12 miles off the Italian coast, but an escape from St. Helena was a much more daunting task for the defeated emperor.
The only way to get to the island right now is by boat or ship. That is expected to change in 2016, however, when the island's first airport, currently under construction, opens for regular air traffic,
The new moorings are situated on the western side of James Bay and according to the government press release: "...are based on trot moorings with a long central spine of over 500 metres of heavy ground chain, crossed by a further nine ground chains of varying lengths. All chains are anchored at each end with very high spec drag embedment anchors and at various points on the ground chain grid, high spec chains rise to specialist polymer buoys with integral mooring rings."
According to Matt Joshua of the local booster group, Enterprise St. Helena, putting in new moorings for visiting yachts isn't a pipe dream. “Last year a third of tourists visiting the island were yachting enthusiasts. Improvements in yachting facilities and services, including refurbishing the wharf, improvements to the Yacht Club and of course the new moorings, should send a clear message to the yachting community that they are valued and that we as an island are keen to increase yacht visitor numbers. We look forward to welcoming them to St Helena soon!”