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Carpe Diem

The unforgettable Journey – Carpe Diem – Cape to St Helena 2018

It was only a few weeks ago many supporters, friends and family gathered at the landing steps in Jamestown St Helena to wave farewell to the crew of the yacht Carpe Diem who was about to set sail on a 1700-mile journey to Cape town to prepare for 2018 Cape to St Helena yacht race. This a was journey that had been carefully planned with the help and contribution by many local St Helena people and Island organisations.

cape to St Helena
Cape to St Helena

The Cape to St Helena yacht race which was formally known as the Governor’s cup race was invented by a former Captain, Dave Roberts of the RMS St Helena, along with the help of then Governor David Smallman and the Royal Cape Yacht Club which resulted in the very first governor’s cup race been invented on the 8th of December 1996 starting at table bay in Cape town.

After the first race which was proven to be a great success a team from St Helena was invited to part take in this exciting scheduled event and the 2018 race was no different.

This year Carpe Diem a Bavaria 38-foot boat owned by St Helenian born James Herne was entered into the 2018 Cape to St Helena race but this was not an easy challenge for James as his boat was moored in St Helena after he and his wife Hannah and their 3 kids had recently returned home to settle in St Helena after circumnavigating around the world.

James an experienced skipper with 75000 nautical miles under his belt, and now the commodore of the St Helena Yacht club James was keen to compete in the race and was offering up the opportunity for a St Helena crew to share his passion to be part of this event.

After weeks of planning and making sure that all the logistics were in place James was ready to sail his 38-foot Carpe Diem back to Cape town in readiness for the race.

The challenge to get Carpe Diem into race mode was not straight forward, the training and recruiting of a St Helena crew began and the planning began and in typical St Helena fashion, the support of the local St Helena community behind him was helping to fund raise for the event with every one making sure this was another success.

Finally, James and his son Josh and three selected St Helena crew members, Andrew Turner, Michael Owen, Dennis Owen got underway and team Carpe Diem departed Jamestown harbour.

As the journey progress, local media reported “The journey was progressing well despite experiencing some calm weather on route and having to motor for a few hours the crew on board was doing amazing and in very high spirits.

A YouTube video shot during the trip showed the crew enjoying their time on board and some of them also managed to swim during the calm period along with some great onboard home cooking.

Video of first leg. St Helena to Cape town. Team Carpe Diem/St Helena

Posted by James Hannah Herne on Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Social media messages flooded the internet with well wishes and support for team Carpe Diem, despite been a little behind schedule the St Helena yacht club finally confirmed that team Carpe Diem had arrived safely in Cape Town at 5.15 am on December 18th.

Shortly after the arrival the same day The St Helena independent and Saint FM broke a news story that three crew members, the Owen Brothers and Andrew Turner had called it a day and would not be competing in the Cape to St Helena race on board Carpe Diem, although it was not clear at the time the reason for this sudden decision however the three crew members had managed to secure flight tickets and would be flying back to St Helena on the Saturday flight.

James and his 13-year-old son Josh who was still determined to compete in the race continued working to repair and fit new sails, thirteen-year-old Josh spent four hours dangling from the mast sorting out Nav lights, while the boats race tracker was been fitted parallel task continued to resolve the main engine starting issue which incidentally gave trouble on arrival in Cape Town.

There had been no communications or update from the departing crew after they had left Carpe Diem which meant that they also left some of their personal belongings on board.

The news story soon appeared online and social media viewers sprung into life and many conversations were discussed openly including statements that the breaking news was inaccurate, meanwhile while pro supporters of the race offered words of encouragement for the remaining Carpe Diem crew to continue the race and motivated them to go and win it for St Helena,

A group of social media followers even reached out asking who would be keen to crew the boat, Steven Ellick a saint who now lives in the UK offered to help crew the boat, while others suggested that maybe something could be done to get a St Helena crew in place to compete in the race.

RYC St Helena
RYC St Helena

After much discussion James told his followers on Facebook that after a long conversation online with his wife Hannah and the kids who were back in St Helena, that they had made a decision that the family would fly to South Africa from St Helena to join them in Cape Town to crew the boat and the 1700 nautical mile Cape to St Helena race would be back on, and everything would be plain sailing for the rest of the Journey, however this was short lived as another twist appeared on the horizon, when it was discovered that the Carpe Diem had to prove to South African Immigration authorities that the three departing crew had left the country, This issue potentially could have stop Carpe Diem leaving South Africa said James and he would have not been able to compete in the race after all, however with some support from St Helena this was rectified within a few hours with the help of immigration officials.

Speaking to James live from Carpe Diem we asked James how he was he getting on despite a rollercoaster two weeks and whether he was ready to be on the start line of the 2018 Cape to St Helena race.

Airlink St helena

Flights to St Helena, this is just the beginning

All eyes from around the world was on St Helena Island as SA Airlink inaugural flight from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg touched down at the St Helena Airport at 14.00 GMT October 14th 2017. Slightly later than originally planned but none the less this is the start of the weekly commercial service to St Helena from the outside world.

HE Governor Lisa Phillips greeted the 72 passengers as they disembarked the Embraer E190-100IGW aircraft whilst the majority of the island’s population watched from the viewing deck to witness this historic occasion.

Tour Operators from Eastcape Tours, Get Africa Travel, Springbok Atlas, and Island Holidays took the opportunity to take the first commercial flight to St Helena. Amongst the passengers were International media from the BBC, ITV, The Times, Thomson Reuters, Associated Press.

Shortly after the arrival a press conference with the visiting media (can be found here) took place in the terminal building. Eventually, the passengers made their way to their hotels and guesthouses which included some who are staying at the new Mantis Jamestown Hotel.

A full itinerary has been organized by the St Helena Tourist Office for the visitors which offers tours to some of the Islands tourist hotspots including a visit to Napoleon’s house, and marine tours on Sunday to see whales and Dolphins on the leeward side of the Island.

Enterprise St Helena and St Helena tourism had also scheduled various meetings to speak with investors who had arrived to look at opportunities here on the Island.

Governor Phillips invited arriving guests to a reception at plantation house to celebrate to what she describes as a proud and momentous occasion for St Helena.

Saint FM outside broadcast
Saint FM outside broadcast

The local community radio station Saint FM presented a special remote live broadcast from the arrivals terminal at the airport where they interview many passengers who just arrived on the aircraft. This broadcast was streamed live worldwide over the internet, which attracted hundreds of listeners.

Immediately after the landing social media sprang into life with live pictures and videos. The BBC broadcast their live report of the event on their world service and TV news at 10 back in Europe. The reporters described their amazing trip to the Island and a how St Helena would benefit from the commercial air service and also some history to the airport project.

Marine tours St Helena
Marine Tours St Helena

This morning the marine tours operators departed the pier head with their visitors hoping to show off St Helena’s marine potential to the tourism market.

The flight is due to depart St Helena at 14.30 GMT Sunday the 15th October.

flood Jamestown

Light winds, lots of rain and James town flooding.

Six months ago, St Helena experienced a very frustrating situation whereas the Island was faced with a critical water shortage. In February that situation improved when the long awaited down pour of rain finally came.

Although rainfall has been fairly consistent over the last few weeks, yesterday the situation was totally different from that of six months ago when suddenly a downpour of torrential rainfall started to cause some disruption to the Islands Monday routine.

As the rain continued into the early afternoon the sudden rainfall began causing some flash flooding along the streets of Jamestown. As the overflow of water gushed mud and debris into Napoleon and Main street continuing to the grand parade.

Flooding at the Grand Parade
Flooding at the Grand Parade Jamestown

The street continued flooding as the drainage system became blocked as it was unable to accommodate the flow of water. The flooding caused some considerable disruption and some damage was caused to local businesses as water flowed into some lower ground buildings. The bank of St Helena which is located directly opposite the market place at the bottom of the street was forced to close its doors to the public as a result of over flowing water and staff at the bank could be seen trying to defeat the flow of water as it continued to rain.

Landslides in the sandy bay area and impact to the roads were also reported.

The continuous overnight rain had also caused some small rocks to fall down the Jamestown slops onto both Ladder Hill and side path roads.

Heart Shape Waterfall
Heart Shape Waterfall

Recorded winds around the Island this week has been fairly light and yesterday was no exception but the main affected areas were Sandy bay and Jamestown.

Bottom woods recorded only 3.4 mm of rainfall and Longwood recorded 9 mm in comparison to Jamestown who recorded 26 mm.

It seems that this sort of weather behaviour is not very common as one local resident recalled this happen just over three years ago.

The wharf area was close for a period but has been reopened this afternoon to the public. The clear up has begun, the St Helena Government roads division are busy unblocking drains and clearing the debris from Ladder Hill and side path roads. The Islands water stocks are certainly nearing full capacity as water is once again flowing over the top of the heart shape waterfall and the Islands vegetation is looking very green as the winter sets in.






Rent, buy, sell, or let property on St Helena.

Renting, buying or letting property on St Helena has been made simple with a website that allows you to do all of the above with a simple process.

The Property finder St Helena was launched last year and continues to deliver the one stop service for property owners and anyone just wanting to buy or rent property on St Helena.

Owners of property who would like to sell or rent their property can do so by simply navigating to www.propertyfinder.sh

You could use either option to submit your details;

St Helena property finder
The St Helena Property Finder Website

(i) “the contact us option”  on the info menu or at the bottom of the page, or ;

(ii) by using the do it your self-option by selecting the submit property which can be found at the top right corner of the website. First timers will have to register first.

St Helena property finder websiteIn both options above and if you prefer, the property finder can do it for you. This can simply be done by using the contact us link and completing the form provided.

Renting property on St Helena is becoming very popular as we get closer to welcoming commercial flights to the Island. Property sales are not as frequent but you can find residential properties that are been offered up for sale.

Land sales is another option to invest in on St Helena and there are a few options and land sales  available

How much does it cost to advertise your property with the property finder?

Property owners who advertise with the property finder for the first time will be offered attractive fix pricing unlike other property websites, advertising is commission based on value.

Property owners who own more than one rental property and would like to submit their listing will be offered a discounted price on multiple listings.

What are the benefits of listing on the property finder

  • gives you the advantage of getting new clients into your property every time a ship or aircraft arrives on Island.
  • Generates more organic income
  • Helps to build a strong reputation as a property owner for your future business.
  • Allows you to communicate directing with your customers once your property is listed
  • All enquiries are automated and are received directly by the property owner. Therefore, your confidentially is upheld.

To contact the Property finder, feel free to use the contact us page.


St Helenian and Ex-serviceman gets a lift from his boss driven by social media

When Keith Ellick (originally from St Helena) was diagnosed with terminal cancer, his boss and friend Addam (CORR) Smith was desperate to help.

Keith Ellick and Addam smith
Keith Ellick and Addam Smith – photo credit to Darren Back Photography

In a real-life version of popular TV programme DIY SOS, Mr Smith and a group of volunteers recruited from across the UK  via Facebook teamed up to transform his friend’s two-bedroom council house. But Mr Smith now wants to go a step further and raise £100,000 so Keith can buy the house, giving much-needed security for his partner Sasha, 26, and their five-year-old son Leyton. “This isn’t really about the money, it’s about peace of mind for Keith and putting things in place for his family,” he said. Keith, who has known Addam Smith for over 10 years and also works for his landscaping business, was diagnosed in January with terminal cancer that had spread from his oesophagus to his liver and blood and told he potentially had less than a year to live.

Addam Smiths and volunteers
Addam Smiths and some of the volunteers who contributed their skills to revamp Keiths House They are all members of the builder talk forum facebook group. credit to Darren Back Photography

For the 41-year-old, from Lincoln, his biggest concern was his children. Friend and boss Mr Smith, who runs his own landscaping business http://www.alsfencingandlandscaping.co.uk/  in Skellingthorpe, Lincoln, said: “One of the first things he said was, ‘I haven’t even got the money for a funeral’. He wasn’t worried about himself; he was worried about his family.”
Mr Smith, a father-of-two himself, posted a message to the 17,000-strong Builders Talk Group on Facebook voicing his heartbreak at the news and within hours had received hundreds of comments along with ideas to support his friend. One was an online fundraising site to raise cash for Keith to organise a funeral and set up trust funds for his children. With Keith’s blessing, Mr Smith set up the site, setting a target of £2,000 to help his friend put his affairs in order. But within 24 hours it had already hit £8,000.

Kitchen before refurbishment
Kitchen area before refurbishment

The 41-year-old, who served as a Guardsman in the Grenadier Guards, started posting regular video updates on Keith’s condition and the fund continued to grow. It currently stands at more than £27,000 (https://www.gofundme.com/Liftkeith), and along with the money, other kind gestures have flooded in, including tickets for Keith to see his favourite football team Everton. One group member also put Keith in touch with charity Team Verrico (www.teamverrico.org), which supports research into new treatments for cancer and provides financial help and support. The charity funded a visit this week to a specialist oncologist in London and Mr Ellick is now in the early stages of being accepted for potentially life-saving clinical trials. In one of his videos, Mr Smith revealed his plan to landscape Keith’s garden. “From there, people were like, ‘can I come and help?’ I had all these tradesmen messaging me saying they would come and help with the garden.

Keiths Kitchen
The Kitchen after refurbishment – credit to Darren Back Photography

“A lightbulb went on and I thought, I’ve had all these boys with these different trades offering me help so why not use it?” When he suggested to the group that they pool their skills to carry out a DIY SOS-style renovation of Keith’s house, Mr Smith was inundated with volunteers from across the country. He then spent weeks sourcing free materials – including a bathroom suite and new kitchen – by asking local big name companies, local contacts and the generous members of the Builders Talk Group for help. Keith and his family were sent to a nearby log cabin for a week and the build began on Easter Monday. Over that week a total of 50 tradesmen – many fellow veterans – worked on the project, some for a day or two, others for the whole week.

Sitting Room
Final outcome of the sitting room refit


They included plumbers, joiners, decorators, tilers, and plasterers who had travelled from across the UK from places including South Wales, Essex, Oxfordshire and the Midlands, and even Mr Smith’s local rival landscaping company. The ‘band of builders’ were given a discount at a local hotels and were fed throughout the week by well-wishers bringing cakes, pasties and bacon butties.  But the build wasn’t without its stress. “Imagine having 17 guys in a little two-bedroom house with only one way in and out,” said Mr Smith. “People were fitting kitchens, bathrooms, plastering. Everyone was literally stepping over each other. “I was working until the early hours all week, some guys were putting shifts in up to 10pm. Some were coming after a full day at work then working all evening.”

Keith Garden
The end result after the back garden refurbishment – credit to Darren Back Photography

In just a week the group revamped the house, fitting a new kitchen and bathroom, decorating Keith’s bedroom, laying new flooring throughout and fully landscaping the front and back gardens. The mammoth project was finished just in time, with the final task – Keith’s doorstep being painted ‘Everton’ blue – completed just minutes before the family returned. “Keith was lost for words,” said Mr Smith. “He was in tears, we all were.” Mr Smith – who even received a congratulatory phone call from DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles when he got wind of the project – said the build was “amazing”. “When I left the army 15 years ago, I thought I would never have banter and camaraderie like it again but that week was the craziest of my life. What you can achieve when you put your mind to it is pretty special.”



Keith Ellick thanking Addam Smith
This is the moment Keith thanked Addam and all the volunteers for the hard work (emotions ran high)

Just days after they finished, one of the men involved suggested that – having carried out around £30,000 worth of renovations to Keith’s council-owned home – they help him buy it, a mission Mr Smith has embraced.  And while completing the whole renovation without any publicity, he is sharing the story in the hope it will help raise around £100,000 for Keith to buy the house. “All the way through, I’ve had, ‘that can’t be done’. But the way I see it, if we can get 90,000 people to donate £10, that’s £90,000.” Keith, a former member of the RAF Regiment said he was reluctant to accept help at first but the efforts of his friend will allay his biggest worry – who will look after his family if he dies. Keith, who was born on St Helena, grew up in small district known as Half Tree Hollow and was well known within the community. Keith was recruited from the Island for the Armed forces in 1999 where he had served overseas for his queen and Country. In his four years he was based in Germany, Oman, The Falkland Islands and finished up at RAF Waddington just outside Lincoln.

“When I was diagnosed all I was thinking about was my family, my kids, how am I going to provide for them? Keith also reiterated these words in a very touching online video.

“What Addam and these guys have done, and what they’re doing, is amazing. We didn’t think it was possible, that people would do

 Team invlove with the project
Some of the team involved with the project (Addam far right holding the plank)

something like that for us.” His partner Sasha added: “We feel kind of guilty because we have had so much. The house was enough and having money for a funeral and for the children but this is another step. It’s amazing.”  Many of you reading this today will know/of Keith, please take a moment to view the video that was produced by Addam,  Keith’s friend and “Best Boss in the World”, as quoted by  Metro paper in London, who was behind this entire project, I am sure each and every one reading this fascinating story both Saints on and off Island would like to thank Addam Smith and everyone who has contributed at the Facebook Builders Talk Group for what they have done for Keith. Please show your appreciation of what has been done thus far. You can contribute here https://www.gofundme.com/Liftkeith  Thanks to Darren Back Photography and Addam for the photos, we also have a uncensored version of the video please contact us and we will send you the link. Feel free to leave a message below in the comments as this will be seen by the builders talk group.  A special thanks also to Ellen Manning, a freelance UK journalist, for supplying this entire original story which has been edited slightly for republishing on www.sthelenalocal.com  On behalf of Keiths friends an family back on St Helena where he originated from and around the world, I would like to on their behalf personally  thank each and everyone of you for what you have done for Keith and continue to do, YOU ARE A SPECIAL BUNCH. (Editor Johnny Clingham)

Please contribute to help Keith and make Addams dream come true https://www.gofundme.com/Liftkeith

Please also don’t forget to share this post.


Updated 17/05/2016

All today we ran a short Interview with Addam & Sasha on this story.

The interview was focused on the project and recorded especially for audience back on the Island of St Helena and our online listeners

This recording will be aired on the downtown radio show tomorrow afternoon 17052016 at 1500 GMT on www.saint.fm

You can also listen to the interview online here.

Please click on the link to listen. Interview J Clingham – Adam Smith and Sasha Hogan or here

If you think Keith deserves a lift after reaching this line in the story then please donate here https://www.gofundme.com/Liftkeith

Dont forget to leave a comment on the way out. Thank you for your support.


food St Helena

Proposed Food safety ordinance could increase cost of living on St Helena

The majority of food products sold to the consumer in a Supermarket on St Helena Island normally costs more than double and in some cases almost triple the actual price that can be seen in your normal high street supermarket outlet in South Africa or the UK.

local meats
local meats

St Helena depends on the majority of its food products to be imported from South Africa or transshipped from the UK which is then delivered to St Helena on the RMS St Helena. As a result, this makes the cost of living rather high and the reason behind such a high price tag is due to the freight cost which is among the highest in the world and already is expected to be increased within the new shipping service to be provided by Andrew Weir Shipping. However the cost of living is set to increase if the new proposed Food Safety Ordinance 2016 gets approved in its entirety by Legislative Council. It has been highlighted that certain components of the Ordinance will impact everyone who lives in or is hoping to visit St Helena. One of the main parts of the Ordinance which will have an adverse effect is the Governments plan to ban the importation of fresh or frozen meat products from South Africa. St Helena imports frozen meats such as Chicken, Pork, Sausages, Beef, Lamb, Fish and Bacon from South Africa as the Island cannot produce or meet demand locally. The new drafted Food Safety Ordinance dictates that importers of meat products will only be allowed to import meat from approved EU suppliers.  Merchants on the Island do not import frozen products on a large-scale on the transhipment service from the UK, as the cost and risk of doing so has massive financial impacts if the frozen products don’t reach the Island in the correct storage conditions and merchants would be directly responsible for the shipment regardless of the condition on arrival. It is also not cost-effective to tranship frozen goods as there is a massive price difference on UK frozen products at source compared to SA products.


Speaking directly to some importers on the Island the forecast that if they are forced to import meat product from the EU authorized suppliers and not from South Africa under the new regulations then this would lead firstly to an increase to almost four times the price at source, and most certainly a reduction in the choice of products imported. Such a move by the Government will greatly increase the risk of food security because it will take 10 weeks to resupply goods from the UK if unexpected shortages occur. Re-sellers and small business owners like service providers in the catering industry fear that this will impact their business massively as they will have to increase their prices for visitors and locals alike. They also believe that this will not encourage clients to use their service as regular as they do now and will result in less income. One business owner stated he is frustrated with the new legislation whilst it is understood that a number of pieces of legislation are being revamped or introduced to support a potential new tourist industry, in this particular instance, they can see no logic in the banned importation of meat products from South Africa. South Africa is one of the tourist capitals of the world and as a business owner put it “I am certain tourists  don’t take their own meat products with them” This is particularly reasoning when in this large tourism continent, there are never many or no cases identifying food quality problems as long as there are systems in place monitoring the distribution, catering and hospitality industries.  Another local St Helenian commented that “The idea of banning meats from South Africa makes no sense to me what if Britain decides to leave the EU in a few months after the referendum then this will make us look silly”