Tag: jamestown

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.

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.






Island Hospital upgrades offers services in line with UK standards.

Recently the Islands Jamestown (only) hospital began a refurbishment project under the management of SA contractors Basil Read.

Jamestown hospital old Theatre – image credit to twitter.com
Hospital old Theatre – image credit to twitter.com

Jamestown hospital new Theatre – image credits to twitter.com
Hospital new Theatre – image credits to twitter.com

The project consisted of upgrading the existing hospital facilities also to mention that this refurbishment project was carried out in parallel with the hospitals day-to-day operations. The project was funded with the aim to bring the hospital service delivery up to date.  Apart from lots of other upgrades to other areas within the hospital establishment one of the much-needed areas that has just been completed is the operating theatre which replaces the old theatre that was out dated but was still used until recently.  The newly installed theatre is configured with a complete new upgrade offering services that compares to a UK standard.  The new theatre is more spacious and offers a better experience for both patients and staff, The theatre is fitted with grade a overhead lighting system an integrated oxygen supply along with a modern pressured control room to prevent contamination, the Theatre is also fitted with high-resolution viewing monitors to allow staff to view patients records during surgery which also forms part of the establishments EMS network. The hospital offers a newly fitted radiology suite that has new modern CT scanner which was commissioned in February. The Xray suites delivers 1st class services like high-resolution Xrays that can sent directly from the system electronically overseas. The hospital now has a fully functional A&E facility making it a mirror image of some of the services offered in a UK medical facility.

RMS st helena

RMS goes up for sale as it ends its service to St Helena

It has been made official by St Helena Line that from July 2016, the passenger and cargo Royal mail Ship St Helena will be removed from service. The RMS St Helena is intended for sale and London ship broker CW Kellock & Co Ltd has already been appointed to oversee the sale of the RMS. This news comes as expected to many who live on St Helena and passengers from around the world who have travelled on the vessel many times, everyone with connections to St Helena and the RMS Somehow cannot but feel that it formed part of the Islands life line.

RMS Funnel
RMS Funnel

The RMS St Helena has been attached to the Island and has been in operation for more than a quarter of a century therefore the impact of its absence affect the entire community locally on St Helena and abroad.

For the many years that the vessel has served the people of St Helena, it was managed by St Helena Line Ltd

St Helena being a remote South Atlantic Island meant that movement to and from the island was sufficiently served by the ship and this is where attachment stemmed from. This mode of transport has finally been phased out for what we will remember as a UK Overseas Territory located 1200 miles off the West coast of Africa in the South Atlantic.

RMS St Helena
RMS St Helena anchored in Jamestown

Due to the size of the island, the RMS St Helena was adequate to meet all the transportation needs of the island at the time. The RMS was built specifically to serve the St Helena route, the ship was constructed in 1989 in Aberdeen Scotland. Even though she served a relatively small island the ship was big enough for all of the Island needs, with the ability to accommodate 156 passengers in its 56 cabins and at the same time carried enough cargo for the Island. A ship of this magnitude needed a large crew to manage her and she was therefore staffed with a total of 56 officers and crew members.

A ship that carries the RMS prefix had the permission to carry mail for the British Royal Mail under contract. This task dates back to the 1840s and today only four ships have the contract. The RMS St Helena is one out of the four ships and now the latest to drop that designation.

The RMS St Helena has been operating on a tight schedule since it was commissioned. The regular schedule has been operating out of Cape

RMS St Helena in James bay
RMS St Helena in James bay

Town but calling at St Helena and Ascension Island.  A new airport is set to be opened on St Helena on 21st May 2016 and shortly after this the ship will cease its operations. It is assumed that with the new airport the majority of passengers will fly to St Helena and cargo movement will happen by another sea freight contractor. It is hope that the airport will be the newest and most widely used means of transport to the island.

RMS along side at Cardiff Docks
RMS along side at Cardiff Docks

It is just under 100 days to decommissioning date and the last few voyages will happen over the next few weeks to mark the grand finale to a long but historic service to the people of St Helena. The RMS is scheduled to call at Tristan da Cunha then head north followed by a farewell voyage to the UK. She is expected to visit the port of London then be moored alongside HMS Belfast off Tower Pier starting 7th to 10th June 2016 she will then sail south to St Helena on her final voyage.

The future of RMS St Helena. The hope for the future of the RMS St Helena has not been determined yet but continued service in another part of the world will enable the ship to continue its service to humanity.

The RMS holds many memories for almost everyone who has sailed on her.

Here is a collection of a few photos that was taken over the years.

Do you have any photographic memories that you would like to share of the RMS?