We sailed away from St Helena on Morgan’s yacht ‘Noa’ in October 2004. Noa was a 1967 29ft sloop with a 8ft beam. A little cork in the big blue ocean.
The weeks leading up to our departure was pretty exciting. There was soo much to do and for me so much to learn.
We took Noa out of the water in St Helena before leaving and cleaned her up ready for the ocean crossing ahead. We spent two weeks doing the work we wanted in order to have her ready. Our departure date was pushed forward due to strong winds but finally the day arrived and just like that we said good bye and sailed away. It was a little surreal, I remember seeing the last glimpse of the island as the sun began to set and fear started to kick in.
Our maiden voyage together was from St Helena to Salvador in Brazil via Ascension Island. St Helena to Ascension took 8 days, which was long for a 700 mile trip. There was days of being becalmed where there was not a breath of wind and the ocean was like silk. We stayed two weeks in Ascension before saying a final good bye and once again sailing of into the sunset.
I had said to Morgan at the beginning of the passage, that if I got scared or wanted to bail don’t let me, it would have been to easy to have gotten of in Ascension. I had to at least make it to Brazil before making such a rational decision.
Twelve days later we arrived in Salvador in Bahia full of excitement and so happy to be somewhere new. To me at the time it felt like I was on the other side of the world. Salvador was bustling with life and culture.
This was my first yachtie experience, meeting up with other yachts and sharing stories, tips, tea’s and cocktails.
We stayed in Brazil for two months. We spent a fair amount of time anchored of Salvador and then explored the island and surroundings of Itaparica and the Paraguassu river. We sailed South to Morro de Sao Paola for the new years celebration which was totally breath taking. To see fireworks coming from every direction as the new year came in on a beach bare foot dressed in white was spectacular. It is a Brazilian tradition to dress in all white for New Years eve in order to bring good luck and peace for the year to follow. This was an amazing sight on a crowded beach.
Originally Morgan wanted to sail to Rio de Janeiro as he wanted me to experience the amazing city.
However considering the hard beat north afterwards, he decided against it and instead we took a little weeks trip there via plane. This was by far one of the high lights of Brazil.
Shortly after the new year we started our sail north, stopping along the way in small anchorages, bays and cities like Recife and Natal.
Our first stop on leaving Brazil was in French Guyana. Unfortunately due to the infestation of mosquitoes at the time our stop over was cut short. However we did manage a few days in the Devil Islands which although was airy was also stunning.
The Devil Islands were previously used as an internal exile for Political prisoners.
Our final long haul was from the Devil Islands to the Caribbean Island of Tobago. A few days before arrival we had gotten into a little rough weather and unfortunately all our paper charts and only computer on board which was our only means of navigation was drenched in sea water and destroyed. Our arrival to Tobago was going to fall within the middle of the night. I remember feeling apprehensive as the low glow of sun faded and night took over. That night as we sailed towards the land mass we were surrounded by a school of dolphins that lit the ocean up with Phosphorescence. It was breath taking to watch their torpedo moves rocked around us. Morgan had been to Tobago before, so we approached the anchorage cautiously and dropped for the night. I remember the smell of fresh vegetation and the night sky was full of fire flies. We were happy to be in the Caribbean.
We spent the next few months sailing around the Caribbean Islands. Exploring the Islands from Trinidad to St Maarten. With the exception of a quick delivery of another boat from Grenada to Ft. Lauderdale we loved our time on little Noa. We never stayed in any one place longer than two weeks. If we like it, we stayed, if we didn’t we picked up anchor and moved on to the next exotic location. We loved this life style.
However soon like all good things it had to come to an end and we needed to work. In July 2005 we sailed south to Venezuela where we put little Noa into a storage yard whilst we went to Belize to replenish our kitty.
In September 2006 we flew from Paris to Venezuela to pick up our little Noa. We stayed two weeks in Puerto La Cruz getting her ready for her passage across the Caribbean to Belize in Central America where we had been working for the last year. When we left Belize in March of 2007 we took our little Noa down to the Rio Dulce in Guatemala where we once again put her into storage whilst we pursued work.
Noa was sold in January 2008 to a lovely Spanish guy who continues to have many wonderful adventures on board.