This weekend St Helena welcomed the participants and speakers who will take part in the 2019 St Helena conference. This is the second St Helena International conference and this years regional conference will focus on the Natural Capital of the South Atlantic from the 11th to the 15th March 2019.
The 2019 conference which is organised by SAERI in partnership with other St. Helena organisations will take place in the Islands capital (Jamestown) at Anne’s place which has been chosen as the conference venue.
St Helena was recently selected by the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI) to implement a Natural Capital Assessment project .
Speakers from around the region who will speak at the conference has flown to St Helena this weekend to prepare for the first regional conference to be hosted on St. Helena.
Local organisations linked to the Natural Capital project will also be presenting at the conference this week. The event will start on the 11th of March with internal workshops and meetings, and the conference venue will open at 0900 with an opening presentation from Islands Governor Lisa Honan.
For the very first time the conference will stream continuously live audio across the internet from the conference venue in Jamestown, details about how to listen live to the conference will be made available soon; updates will be available on our Facebook page and twitter feed and also directly from the Conference website https://st-helena-conference.com
What does a Wine Exhibition in Groot Constantia, Cape Town have to do with St Helena?
These are the
questions I seek to answer in my quest for discovery, come journey with me,
from my experiences at the airport, to full coverage of the wine exhibition in
My expedition would
not have been possible without the following agencies and in particular I
mention SA Airlink and St Helena tourism working in partnership with
independent media, I would also make mention of The French Consul, ‘Michel
Dancoisne-Martineau’ whose vision continues to inspire me.
Every journey has a
beginning and an end, mine will begin on 19th February and end on
the 26th February, included in the journey is Governor Lisa Honan
who will along with the director of tourism, Helena Bennett will be
representing St Helena at the exhibition. The exhibition is called Wine of Exile – The wine of
Napoléon on St Helena and takes place from the 21st February to the 21st June
2019 at the Groot Constantia, Manor House, Groot
Constantia Wine Estate.
I have no pre-conceived ideas, like
you, I am intrigued and curious about the outcome, the significance for St
Helena and in doing so I hope to bring the exhibition closer to home and let
you decide it’s importance.
As a member of the Bicentenary vision
group one of our important tasks is community engagement, Councillor Lawson
Henry who is the Chairman of the group recognises that the exhibition presents
a remarkable opportunity to join the dots,
”Napoleon’s legacy forms an important part of the island’s history and is very
significant for St Helena as we seek to internationally promote the branding,
the wine exhibition is an excellent example of raising awareness of the island’s
tourism potential and from this we would
hope that local businesses and organisations also feel empowered in their
creations to showcase the island and everything it has to offer , with newly
gained knowledge and sharing of skills and ideas we hope to create a lasting
The French Consul, Michel Martineau who
is already in Cape Town and with other agencies working in preparation for the
event said “For the last centuries most of the wines drunk on the island
have come from Cape Town, there are historical, human, economical, sociological
and political bounds existing between Cape Town and St. Helena. We hope to
promote the close relationship which always existed between these two countries
and therefore to encourage South Africa to visit the island and vice-versa. In addition,
we aspire to promote the Napoleonic heritage through emblematic and relevant
items: the wine-cooler from Plantation House and some glassware from Longwood
house used by Napoleon on the island and then finally to show how St. Helena
cares for its heritage”
Among the invited guests at the
opening of the exhibition will be His Excellency Mr Christophe Farnaud, Ambassador
of France to South Africa, Mr Jean Naudé, Chief Executive Officer of the Groot
Constantia Wine Estate and Ms Rooksana Omar, Chief Executive Officer of the
Iziko Museums of South Africa,
It is understood historically that from 1815 to 1821 while Napoleon was exiled to St Helena, he would order a wine called ‘Vin de Constance’ from Constantia in Cape Town but what is even more amazing is that this wine estate continues to produce the same wine that Napoleon used to drink often referred to as “Wine of Napoleon”. In addition, this year there is a double celebration of the 250-birth anniversary of Napoleon on the 15th August.
Readers may recall a
session of EXCO where the Governor informed Members of the forthcoming
exhibition at which she “sought approval from Members to loan to the exhibition
the wine cooler which was part of Longwood New House furniture now displayed in
the dining room at Plantation House and to permit the St. Helena Napoleonic
Heritage Ltd to export for the time of the exhibition a few items presently at
The other exhibits, which belonged to Napoléon or
that he used during his stay on this island, are issued of the collections of
Iziko, the Napoleon Foundation, the Government of St Helena, Groot Constantia
and the National Domains.
There is to me a lot I can learn from this trip,
how does South Africa perceive St Helena and what useful relationships if any
can be forged? The man/woman on the street will ultimately have his/her
opinion. My senses tell me and I have written a great deal about this, in as
much as we would like to feel that we can always rely on others, this is not
always the case and this fact should not take us by surprise, both Charles
Clover of the Blue Marine Foundation and Michael Binyon of the Times said last
week that Brexit is taking up most of the UK government’s attention, the fact
that we are not featuring very highly on their priority list is not our fault
however though we find ourselves in mourning I believe that energies are best
expended on actually trying to make things a little better.
From the outside looking in, it looks like nothing
much is happening but if you’re on the inside you may observe a great deal of
effort is being made to promote the island and gain recognition, the wine
exhibition is just one way of getting the world to sit up and take notice of
us. Much more needs to be done, there is no illusion, the road ahead will be
laden with difficulties, take a deep breath, we’re not done yet.
It is my intention to
create a series of articles and interviews for audiences both on St Helena and
abroad, I hope you will share the journey.
Contributed by Tammy
About Tammy – Tammy who was born and bought in Jamestown St Helena is the Station Manager of Saint FM Community Radio Station, Tammy also owns her own highly rated local Guesthouse business (Harkate Guest House) which welcome come visiting tourist and business clients when visiting St Helena.
Our amazing memorable family visit to St Helena began on 22nd December 2018 as we touched down at 13.13pm at the St Helena airport, where we were greeted by friendly Airport staff, which I hastened to add is very humbling compared to some airports we have been to.
fell completely head over heels in love with St Helena for the culture and the breath-taking
scenery and the outstanding contrast.
Saints were so welcoming and friendly, no matter wherever you are on the St
Helena the locals will say ‘Hello’ or wave as you drive by. It reminded me of
growing up in the 70s with a great sense of security and warmth, it’s very much
like stepping back in time when there was a genuine community spirit and
everyone helping each other out, sadly in the UK this has diminished for some.
I hope and pray that the Islanders keep their ‘sparkle’ and stay the way they
are, we absolutely love you all, it would be a shame to lose the unique humble
We visited Plantation House and was honoured to be given a tour by Governor Lisa Honan. We had heard a few negative comments regarding the Governor prior to our visit so naturally we were dubious about her, upon our visit we found her charming, knowledgeable, honest, very down to earth (not at all stuffy) she even agreed to have photos taken with tourists!! We felt terribly guilty for doubting her!
could honestly see that Govenor Lisa had a genuine passion for St Helena Island
and its people she has worked so hard to achieve her goals for the benefit of
the Island/ers. Our message here is ‘Do not trust other people’s comments but
….’ Trust your own judgement’
strongly believe Lisa will be a great loss when she leaves Plantation house. We
hope she gets recognition for her time on St Helena Island.
Lisa Honan took us to meet the 187-year-old tortoise Jonathan which was another
honour and privilege who naturally stole the show he wasn’t fazed about the
tourists taking photos… He absolutely revelled in it.
observed a special relationship between The Governor and Jonathan which was so
touching to see they obviously adore each other, Lisa obviously spends allot of
time with Jonathon as there was a sense of classical conditioning displayed.
Another one of our excursion’s was to see the dolphins on the ‘Enchanted Isle’ a very we kept boat, this experience was incredible, the crew was very experienced as they took us to see the hundreds of dolphins playing in their natural almost untouched environment, we also had a coastal tour of the Island along the way and as an added bonus we anchored of at Egg Island where passengers enjoyed swimming in the amazing crystal clear waters around St Helena.
British territories around the Atlantic Ocean are soon to begin minting their own versions of the 12-sides British pound coin, reports the Accountancy Daily website. St Helena and Ascension will add their own design to blank coins supplied by the Royal Mint, it says. The new coins will share space in the purse with Island coins featuring turtles, endemic plants and – on the two pence coin – donkeys. On St Helena, notices appeared in shops towards the end of 2018 announcing that British circular pound coins would no longer be accepted.
Competitors on board the yachts racing towards St Helena in
the Cape to St Helena 2018 race enjoyed mostly a clear night sky and with lots
of stars above as they settled into the race.
Most of the yachts have covered more than 300 miles with
Banjo, Rocket at Naledi pushing at the front with around 1000ish miles to go to
reach St Helena.
Some of the crew onboard a few of the boats have boasted about
enjoying a yellow tail feast as they race towards St Helena.
Banjo skippered by Kevin Webb who is at the front of the race, reports today that the sea state is a lot calmer and the wind is about 20knts but last night was hectic and the sea was very rough with a cross swell but the wind was 35knts and gusting Compromise was enjoying a bumpy ride over night with winds gusting to 31 knots and doing around 15kts down the waves as they sacrificed a pack of Karoo chops to Neptune but with that, they are fishing again in calmer conditions today. Caribbean Soul said we lost the lost the plot a bit but are now back on track we had a few issues with the mainsheet but all sorted now. Sea still lumpy but settling down. The great weather and wind make its nice for sailing so we are having fun, one crew member was down with the flu but is back on watch.
Naledi reported nice sailing under
spinnaker though a bit lonely as we cannot see anyone else.
Asante said its going nicely but our
water maker is not working we are going on rations but the crew is still in
Hannah reported from Carpe Diem we
are all well on board, the sun is shining here it’s a glorious day and the
children are happy. Yolo skippered by Dale Kushner the solo sailor in the race also reports all is well onboard.
Meanwhile back on St Helena the St Helena yacht club said they are awaiting the arrival of the yachts and looking forward to welcoming the race competitors. The St Helena yacht club has also arrange and action pack itinerary for the visitors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Get hooked St Helena is a locally experienced fishing charter company have now published their very own website online to offer every one the St Helena fishing experience to the visitors or potential big game fishing enthusiast.
Get hooked who has a good reputation for their fishing expertise on St Helena can offer a half or full day or a full weeks fishing at some very attractive prices.
You have a choice of fishing around St Helena on their commercial fishing twenty eight foot Catamaran or their Mono Hull Tuna fishing boat.
The get hooked online photo gallery boast some large Tuna and Wahoo some of which for a fishermen is a dream come through.
Get Hooked who also advertises on the St Helena Directory has also attracted some great reviews about the service they offer which includes meals and a BBQ serve on the deck of their boat.
St Helena offers some great fishing locations and grounds and wide variety of fish species
Following the press release from the St Helena Government today Friday 21st July, confirmed that an agreement had been signed off for SA Airlink to provide a scheduled air service to the Island from Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa to include a monthly service to Ascension Island. The service to and from Tambo will include a stopover at Windhoek International Airport in Namibia. The service will offer great opportunities for connecting flights to Cape town and other destinations. The aircraft confirmed to be used is an Embraer E190-100IGW that will offer business and economy class to its passengers.
Shortly after the news was released social media platforms kicked into life with comments and opinions on the air service. Many still questioned the preferred direct cape town flight, although most welcomed the news and are happy with the long awaited start of the new air service to the Island that is almost ready to be commissioned once the finalising regulatory approvals with the South African Civil Aviation Authority, others commented on medical services for the Island and how this will fit in with the route, comments on the historical ties with Cape town were also raised, other comments were the Ascension link which is almost impossible as wide awake airfield is not accepting commercial flights due to safety concerns which means that Saints living on the Falklands would not benefit from the service immediately. SA Airlink’s CEO said SA Airlink are delighted to have reached this milestone and was extremely excited to be preparing for the proving flight shortly.
Other details along with tickets prices and commencement dates will follow shortly.