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.
The 58-minute film documentary of life on board and the last voyage of the RMS is produced by T.L. Productions. Tony Leo who owns TL Productions thought it would be good to capture the moments of the last voyage of the RMS to the UK on camera after hearing the announcement in May 2015 which was a year in advance to the commencement of this historic voyage. Tony began planning well in advance, until he was finally ready for the trip on 22nd May 2016 when the RMS St Helena weighed anchor in James Bay and he departed St Helena for the UK via Ascension Island and Tenerife. Almost everyone on board were Island tourists and not the traditional saint traveller seeking jobs off shore and returning to work. Everyone who travelled on board this amazing journey had a memorable time and enjoyed every moment of the journey. The voyage was so memorable, that it was difficult to determine what the highlights were. This documentary film of the last remaining Royal Mail Ship is truly a masterpiece and will become a collector’s item in years to come” said Tony. This film is a true Saint production. The cameraman is a saint. A saint directed it, A saint edit, scripted and narrated it. The film features the London visit and the river Thames, crew members, passengers, key people who has contributed to the RMS success story over the years and also two of our St Helena’s ships captains. Captain Andrew Greentree and Captain Rodney Young. Sadly, Captain Young passed away suddenly only months after this voyage.
The film will be on sale in front of the Canister in Jamestown from 9 am on Saturday 15th July 2017. Reach back St Helena will be managing online sales from this weekend and a trailer, and information on how to buy can be found online at www.sthelenalocal.com Where copies of the film can be ordered and shipped to Europe, USA and South Africa and other destinations, A film trailer, Information and updates can also be found on the TL production Facebook.
If you have travelled on the RMS St Helena over the last 27 years, then watching this documentary should bring back many happy memories. We sincerely hope that you will enjoy watching this 58-minute documentary. read a more in depth view of the unseen film here
The official announcement was delivered today. “That SA Air link are the chosen bidders to provide commercial air services to St Helena” The long awaited press release from the St Helena Government announcing the successful bidder was somewhat brief and sort of an anticlimax; As it was always apparent who was going to be the preferred bidder after Atlantic Airlines and Cello Aviation was told that they weren’t going to be invited to continue through to the second phase of the tender process. The confirmation came really when SA Air link were chartered to airlift home the stranded passengers from South Africa last month. For this the SA Air link used an identical aircraft the Avero RJ Aircraft that Atlantic Star Airlines used when they landed on St Helena last year.
However, generally the community are now asking when will flights commence but again Government is asking the public to be patient. For most of us patience is wearing thin and there is a feeling in the community that indicates most are seeking alternative means of access. For some they have already taken the decision to don’t travel to and from St Helena at all. Let’s hope that Atlantic Airlines and other providers are not perturbed by disappointment and will soldier on to continue to offer St Helena the alternative service especially for the UK and Ascension links. The community is greatly aware that Atlantic Star who also submitted a comprehensive bid to offer air services that was designed to grow the travel needs of St Helena, included options to employ saints.
How long will it take the St Helena Government to negotiate the final part of the tender with SA air link. Your guess is as good as mine as the announcement didn’t explicitly say this but more on the lines like how long is a piece of string. Details of the connecting hub and flight schedules and commencement date is also up in the air so it seems as this we are told also forms part on the ongoing contractual negotiations. The preferred connecting hub for most saints are Cape Town International in South Africa, this will enable familiar onward travel for most. The original decision however to use Johannesburg as a hub could still be a possibility. The concerns about Saints living on Ascension and the Falkland Islands remains a big unresolved issue. The possibility of air travel via Ascension to connect with St Helena air travel could be highly unlikely if Ascension Island wide-awake airfield remains closed to commercial aircraft due to ongoing safety concerns with the runway. Though it is generally known that Ascension will remain the alternative airport for St Helena in case of emergency.
So what do we know about SA Airlink.
SA Airlink is a South African domestic and regional carrier and it is privately owned and mainly based in Johannesburg.
Airlink was formed in 1978 and forms is part of a feeder for SA Airlines some of the aircraft owned by the company are Avero RJ85s, Embraers and BAE Jet streams.
Like most airlines airlink have suffered a few incidents and accidents over the years some of which occurred in September 2009, December 2009, defence web in South Africa reported that SA Air link had four incidents in three months.
SA Airlink is a member of IATA (International Air Transport Association)
SA Airlink have flown to St Helena only a few months ago to bring home stranded passengers when the RMS St Helena experienced mechanical issues.
Do you have any experience of SA Airlink?
What are your thoughts of St Helena’s new Air service?
Are you looking forward to flying to St Helena with SA Airlink?
It has been announced by SHG that an Air partner chartered RJ85 Aircraft will arrive at St Helena’s Airport from Cape Town with some of the affected RMS passengers onboard as early as Wednesday 03rdMay 2017.
The affected passengers spent weeks of frustration sitting in Capetown whilst SHG and DFID negotiated and agreed to put on a flight to bring the passengers home. This solution was talked about earlier but have only just recently became a reality.
As many will recall Andrew weir shipping notified the Island on the 16th April 2017, that the RMS St Helena had developed a further fault with its starboard propeller only hours after it had left drydock in Simons Town. It was reported that RMS develop the very same problem it went into drydock to have fixed in the first place.
Whilst docked in Capetown it was also discovered that water was leaking through the new shaft seals that was fitted. This now meant the RMS St Helena would have to return to drydock to rectify the faults and as a consequence the forthcoming scheduled voyages to St Helena had to be cancelled. Some tourist passengers was forced to returned home.
A decision was taken to unloaded both passengers and cargo in preparation for its return back to Simonstown dry dock. Cargo was then loaded onto the MV Helena. The MV Helena is the replacement vessel for the RMS St Helena when she finally goes off line but had to be brought quickly into service to bring the awaited cargoes to St Helena. The RMS St Helena will continue during the transition period from sea to air and will be taken out of service when the air service is fully implemented.
After much discussions most passengers were accommodated with family and friend and other went into Hotels and Guest houses around Capetown. Most if not all transit and tourist class passengers, returned back to their home countries because there was no clarity on timeline or a contingency plan in place to move the affected passengers to St Helena.
Up to ten passengers were offered a voyage to St Helena on the survey research vessel Ocean Observer which incidentally was departing Cape town the same week. The Ocean Observer and was on route to Puerto Rico but was happy to divert via St Helena to drop off passengers. It was first thought that the Ocean Observer could accommodate more than ten passengers on this journey, however, the UK MCSA did not give approval for this to happen. This meant that the majority of passengers were to remain in Cape town until the Government found a solution.
Whist the passengers sat in Capetown and with no worthwhile news nor clarity coming from AW shipping managers, SHG and DFID many rumours circulated through the social media platform. Most social media post complained about the lack of communication from the official authorities back in London and in St Helena. During this news outage over the Easter period, the community radio station Saint Fm worked tirelessly to keep everyone up to speed with the events as they unfolded.
During this time, another situation had unfolded on Ascension Island. The Ascension Island Airfield operators had announced that they were cancelling all commercial and South Atlantic Airbridge flights for the foreseeable future. There were safety concerns about the state of its Airfield, this meant that people travelling to and from the Falkland Island and also the UK would not be able to make the journey to Ascension Island to connect with the RMS St Helena in Ascension.
With all of this now causing even further impact on the St Helena travel situation it began to look even more difficult to overcome.
Finally the St Helena Government announced that their Air partner has teamed up with SA Air-link and has a contractual agreement to fly the affected passengers to St Helena via Namibe on Wednesday 03rdMay 2017.
Two of the affected passengers Tracy and Chad Corker who were stuck in Cape town are booked onto the flight from Cape town, Tracy said apart from been totally frustrated with the communication issues during this whole process, she is looking forward to arriving home in style by air and she has decided to purchase a new outfit for the arrival day. Tracy owns and operates one of the oldest and most successful establish tour services (Corkers Tourist Services) on the Island.
The Islands Governor Lisa Phillips was also due to return back to the Island on this flight.
The Air Partner and SA Air link flight will also be offering priority booking seats on the return flight from St Helena to Capetown for those passengers that were affected by the delay of the RMS. St Helena Government and local media on St Helena will be updating every one with more details as soon as they become available.
Passengers who were connecting with the RMS voyage 256 via Ascension were offered a passage to the Island on RMS voyage 257 which leaving Capetown on or about 04th may 2017. Some of the passengers with onward travel arrangements have already flown to Cape town this weekend. Some affected medivacs and St Helena Government employees are due to fly on a BA flight departing PM from London Heathrow Airport on Wednesday 03rd May 2017. These passengers will be transferred to the RMS directly on arrival in cape town.
Discussion are ongoing to re-route passengers via Cape town who are affected by the Ascension Island connection on voyage 257 on the 13th May 2017. This would however mean a six weeks duration would be required for this journey and that for most people another disappointment as they would not be able to get that amount of leave and will be forced to cancel their trip.
Speaking with a family who had planned this journey for some years (via Ascension) to visit there 86-year-old granny and great granny is devastated as they are finding it difficult to change their travel arrangements at such short notice.
The RMS was due to depart Simons Town drydock today 02 May for sea trials, this however didn’t happen and the RMS is still in Simons Town. It is hope that news of the delay will be forthcoming .