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 Jamestown - Profile

Location

Jamestown is the capital of the island and its only port, located on the NW coast. Sandwiched between steep cliffs (that form James Valley) the town is rather long, thin and densely populated, with tightly knit, long and winding streets and some interesting historic buildings. The surrounding terrain is rough and steep.

A popular tourist attraction here is Jacob's Ladder, a staircase of 699 steps, built in 1829 to connect Jamestown to the former fort on Ladder Hill. The ladder is lit at night and a timed run takes place there every year, with people coming from all over the world to take part.

Position 15° 55'11"S, 05° 43'19"W (approach to moorings)

Clearance

See St Helena Clearance for full details.

Docking

Port Control operate on VHF Ch 14. They are responsible for allocation of mooring buoys. The mooring field is located close to the steep cliff on the western side of the harbour and the swells can be substantial both from the cliff and from the sea. Care should be taken to approach the field from the West and not through the local boats due to a large number of substantial mooring lines and painters for the local fishing boats.

Moorings

There are 23 moorings currently in place and they are situated on the western side of James’ Bay (15° 55'.4S, 05° 43'.5W) and are designed to accommodate yachts of up to 60ft LOA. There are two types of moorings: the 18 yellow buoys cater for vessels up to 20 tons and up to 50ft;  the 5 red buoys for vessels of up to 50 tons and up to 60ft (read full spec. here). Larger yachts may also be accommodated by arrangement of the Harbour Master.

The buoys are flat and round (like a large Swiss cheese) and are of a foamed material that will not scratch or mark your yacht. They are however very difficult to pick up as they currently have no painter. Cruisers report that the best way is to go stern-to and pass a line through the fixed eye of the buoy and then work it to the bow. This also works well in the heavy swells. You cannot lift the buoys on board.

In the case of difficulty at night, call St Helena Radio on VHF channel 16.

The moorings are allocated on a first come/first served basis and cannot be pre-booked.

There is no time limit for staying on the buoys. See Fees for a breakdown of costs.

You can find the allocation and use policy for the new moorings and other advice here:St Helena Information for Yachts

Caution: As previously described, the swell here is substantial therefore great care must be taken to ensure your mooring lines are secure. Regular checks are recommended as boats have reported coming loose here.

Do not run your watermaker if tied to the moorings at West Rocks as this is exactly at the position of the Jamestown and Half Tree Hollow effluent outlet.

Anchoring

It is still possible to anchor in James Bay when the moorings are full, or if you prefer, however holding is very poor.

The normal anchorage is off Munden’s Point east of the local small boats in 17-21 metres (GPS 15.55.975 S, 5.43.174 W). Do not anchor too far east as there is a telephone cable on the seabed – notice and indications to this effect are painted on the rock overlooking the anchorage.

Yachts are advised that, due to the depth of the harbour, it is recommended that the amount of chain or cable required for safe anchoring should be at least 3 times the depth of water. If you have to anchor, be sure your anchor is well set before going ashore and check the position of your vessel on a regular basis. Many a vessel has had to be collected on the horizon after it had dragged anchor.

The entire area in the anchorage with a depth less than 16m is occupied by the local fishing and lighter fleet that are moored with floating lines that interconnect the boats and various buoys. Any vessel that draws more than several cm or that cannot safely pass over floating lines needs to stay well outside the area. If you arrive during daylight, the ferry will normally come out to help direct you to the shallower spots with good holding off the landing steps.

Getting Ashore

For getting ashore, dinghies can be used but swell conditions on the wharf can be challenging and visitors are advised to make use of the regular ferry service. Call "ferry service" on Ch. 16 between 07:00 and 18:45hrs. Have plenty of fenders ready on the side towards the quay.

The ferry runs every hour and costs £1.50 or £2/person each way. The higher rate is for trips later than 19:00hrs. The fee is is payable to the coxswain.

Whilst the ferry does run to an approximate schedule, the weather and swell can often cause the service to be suspended. Be sure to ask about the last ferry back on your trip in.

The Port Captain, is very helpful and a mine of local information. He is the best person to ask for local advice on repairs.

Shore Facilities for Yachts

Next to the blue yacht club building, on the quayside, are free solar showers, toilets and a double sink for laundry. The code for this facility is available from the Harbour Master or Deputy Harbour Master.

Shower facilities and WiFi are also available at the Consulate Hotel - Tel: 22962.

If you must, take your rubbish ashore in sturdy bags (double bagged) and dispose of it inside the bins near the ferry landing.

There is a free water tap by the steps at the landing point.

It is possible to get a lift out here. See boatyards.

Last updated June 2016.

Harbour Masters Office
Tel:00 290 22287 ,VHF Channel 14 (during working hours), 16 (for emergency help)
Opening hours: 08:30 - 16:00 (Mon-Fri)
Very helpful and do respond to emails.
Marine Maven
PO Box 212, Jamestown, St Helena
Help and advice with navigating/pilotage approach to St Helena, yacht moorings and local facilities and services.
Can provide fuel, sail, canvas and upholstery repairs, lifejackets and marine clothing.
St. Helena Tourist Office
VHF Channel 08
On arrival immigration personnel will provide you with an information pack, however if you require further tourist information, please contact the Tourist Office.

Yacht Clubs

St Helena Yacht Club
The Yacht Club on the island does not open on a daily basis. Unfortunately it does not have the resources yet to operate as a fully serviceable yacht club.

http://sthelenayachtclub.weebly.com

marinemaven
marinemaven says:
Jan 29, 2014 02:40 AM

You can order fuel in advance of your arrival and get any other questions answered by e-mail to info@marinemaven.com

St Helena
Jamestown
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