St Helena – a truly breathtaking experience!
On January 15th to 17th, the students of A Plus World Academy had the opportunity to visit St Helena.
As we live on board a Norwegian tall-ship, S.S. Sørlandet, we really value our time in port and use it to relax, recharge, and connect with our families back home. We represent roughly twenty nationalities, and every single member of our 81-strong family describes St Helena as one of the places they would want to return to the most. From the day we set sail from Kristiansand, Norway in August we have been more than ten countries and St Helena was the highlight.
Our lifestyle on board is certainly unique – but it generates a strong community. Amongst the people of St Helena, we recognised the same community values that are fundamental to ship life. In particular – caring for the people around us and being willing to help whenever someone is in need.
St Helena was our first sighting of land after two weeks at sea since our departure from Walvis Bay, Namibia. Everything about our arrival was perfect, and after being kindly welcomed by the immigration officials, our passports were stamped, and we eagerly set off on our terrestrial adventure.
At first sight, we felt like we had arrived in paradise. Everyone we met offered us directions, suggestions, and was interested to hear about our life on board. We answered with equal enthusiasm and returned the Q&A so we could learn about life on the island, and to find our ‘Big Three in Port’ ice-cream, internet, and an adventure. We were directed to the Mantis St Helena Hotel, and there we made our much-needed calls to our families and enjoyed a wonderful meal.
We spent the next three days exploring this “hidden paradise”. Our time on the island went by far too quickly, but in our 72 hour stay we were amazed by the whale sharks, the beautiful nature, and above all the people who call St Helena home. Several of the students were able to go on a tour with Robert, and learned about the history of the island and take in the stunning landscape outside of Jamestown. Over the course of our three-day stay we climbed Jacob’s Ladder, visited Napoleon’s House, met Jonathan, and were overwhelmed by the kindness of the locals.
The Sørlandet community would like to thank the people of St Helena, particularly the staff of the Mantis St Helena Hotel and Into the Blue, for making our time on the island so enjoyable. We all hope to return to the island sometime in the near future with our families in order to share the beauty we got to experience. St Helena is a truly remarkable place, and Sørlandet is so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to visit.
Written by Peyton Rieger
Photography by Peyton Rieger and Erik Burton
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