St. Helena

Stranded on St Helena Island

15th April 2017

Yesterday, I got some very disappointing news. The Royal Mail Ship St Helena, the island’s one lifeline to the outside world, has not been fixed, will likely sail on one engine from Cape Town and need to return to South Africa into dry dock.

Some of my friends and colleagues are returning to the island are on that ship and several people I know are relying on it to go back to the outside world, onto new jobs or holidays with their family and friends. The ship prior was cancelled completely so the ship could be repaired. Unfortunately, it has not been successfully fixed. Purely from a selfish point of view, my boyfriend Bernie should be on the next ship due to leave Cape Town on the 4th May. This is unlikely to happen now, unless some strategic planning happens stat or these engineers work around the clock to bring the St Helena back to full health. He was only going to visit for eight days so even a small delay in its departure will affect his ability to travel here.

I can cope being in the middle of the South Atlantic, with a regular ship servicing the island, bringing and taking back people and goods every three weeks. But when the RMS St Helena is cancelled it throws a massive spanner in the works. It is the only way Saints, those on temporary contracts and tourists can access the world beyond these shores.

The airport is still not open for commercial services so for us ordinary folk without a private jet, sailing on the sea is our one route off.

Thank god for internet. May be the most expensive in the world but it’s a much-needed lifeline. Don’t get me wrong, I have great friends here, plenty of food and a rewarding job, there are many worse things in the world to complain about. Just feeling a bit trapped.





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