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Water sport on St Helena

Have you ever thought about visiting St Helena and wondered if you could enjoy any type of water sport activities during your stay, knowing that St Helena has one of the world safest oceans surrounding it.

The answer to the question is yes you can enjoy a variety of water sport activities during your visit.

The water temperature varies throughout the year, obviously during the summer months the temperatures are higher and a lot cooler during the winter.

The majority of Jet-skis are privately own but there are a few small tour operators now offering jet-ski hire and there are others interested parties that are preparing to setup Jet-ski rental along with other water sport possibilities.

Other small tour operators are also offering inshore fishing which is slowly becoming a highlight for visitors who would like to explore St Helena’s ocean paradise.

The video below shows a short preview of a locally organise water sport’s afternoon in Rupert’s Bay.

This is a fast growing pastime for the Island community.

If you were thinking of returning or going to live on St Helena you can purchase and ship a jet-ski to the Island, you will be expected to pay customs duties on its value but there is no registration required for using this type of watercraft on St Helena

 

 

 

Sunday’s flight attracts a small crowd.

The St Helena Airport sprung into life today as Excujet touched down at St Helena at approximately 13.20hrs .

St Helena Airport

St Helena Airport main entrance

The Aircrafts arrival attracted lots of onlookers on the observation deck at the Airport. The Restaurant facilities were available all afternoon and many enjoyed a chat whilst meeting family and friends.

St Helena Airport observation deck

St Helena Airport observation deck

The car park was full to capacity and one onlooker said that he had estimated around 200 people were present to see the arrival of the flight. Being a Sunday afternoon most people are off work.

Another Aircraft is also expected to arrive tomorrow, Monday. Good weather conditions prevailed for the landing today on 02 Runway with very little wind.

 

 

St Helena Police chief departs St Helena today for another top Island.

St Helena’s Police Chief Trevor Botting and his wife Sarah departed St Helena today on the RMS St Helena.  Trevor who has been in post on Island for three and half years as the Chief of Police within the St Helena Police directorate will take up a new role as a Police commissioner in the Turks and Caicos after some well earnt leave in the UK.

Trevor who has implemented many new strategies within the police directorate spoke about the changes he had made on St Helena which can be heard in an interview here online about his time on St Helena.

Islanders frustration – No rain no water we die.

Over the past few months the Islands water supply has diminished allot due to the fact that there hasn’t been any substantial rainfall. It appears ludicrous to have a very serious fresh water shortage for a population of just four thousand people living on St Helena. Unfortunately this is the reality and residents have barely enough to drink. The Island is only 47 sq miles and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. But this is not all, it is said to be one of the oldest land masses on earth and have been rained on for millions of years. You don’t need a degree to understand that surely some of that rain water is stored somewhere in the deep aquifers of the Island ready to be tapped, most of it is running out to sea.

Harpers Earth Dam

Harpers earth dam

Basil Read put their faith in one Saint Helenian who knew this and tapped that same source of underground water to supply water for the construction of the airport, just as well as we would still be wondering where we would get the water from to build the Airport. It was no way that the islands potable water supply would have sustained the volumes of water required for the construction of the airport. It was absurd for the water consultant to even suggest that it would.

St Helena has faced domestic water shortages for decades dating back to the 1800’s. Nowadays if you speak to anyone who has lived on St Helena they can all relate to a water shortage at some time or the other.

In a nutshell the development of the Island over the years has outgrown the historic water system and the sewerage system and the Government has been slow to react. St Helena depends solely on rainfall every year to top up its springs which supplies the Islands domestic water supply. Most of these springs originate high up on the mountains and only has a limited supply in the summer months. Historically in the drier months the centuries old records show that the incoming flows are always lower than the consumption.

The process for delivering domestic water to residents on St Helena is very simple. Water is collected from natural water springs and runoffs and stored in reservoirs. The water is then treated and distributed to the population as a potable water supply. The rainfall replenished the springs.

No rain no water.

The Connect Company now headed up by Barry Hubbard a UK expat engineer on Island who was the former manager of the then government’s electrical department

Water discovery at Dry gut

Water discovery at Dry gut

manages that water system. Recently a new reservoir and water mains have been implemented but the fundamentals are the same, the supply relies very much on the rain, no rain no water we die. Is the government doing anything one may ask, I suppose so, having resilience meetings speaking about it probably, but nothing is coming out in the public to let us know what their plans are if the current situations prevailed. The Island has seen a new reservoir recently been built just in case it rains.  However, same fundamental, no rain no water we die. Nothing is coming out of Connect and the Governments resilience meetings except pointless advert saying we are short of water, we know that but what you are really doing about it, so as usual everyone is left to speculate!

A few questions are been asked from the residents of St Helena who incidentally are hoping for a commercial operational airport in the next few months despite not having enough water to drink.

  • Will the authorities divert the RMS to the nearest port to collect freshwater when we finally run out?
  • Will they bring in as an emergency desalination plant?
  • Will they simply tie up the RMS in Ruperts and use it to manufacture desalinated water for the island?
  • Will they pump water from the existing boreholes? Perhaps they are forced to do this now.

It has been mention that they (The Authorities) didn’t want it because it was brackish, a decision the government and the service provider must be regretting now.

  • Will they bring in a proper borehole drill and drill more boreholes close to existing catchment areas just like Basil Read did?
Old water tanks

Old style water storage tanks at Lower Half Tree Hollow.

Probably not they would bring in a consultant hydrologist instead and make more reports to be shelved while we die of thirst. A frustrated Islander said “I don’t think the government realises the seriousness of the situation, drastic situations require measures, and a decision made”  Only one saint who we all know did this and found water for the airport project when there was none. Dry Gut springs to mind. Drastic situations require drastic measures but it all worked out well in the end as I believe SHG is currently using that water now. Respect to the person who found this source of water, I wonder if the Government will tell us how much they are currently bowsering from it to save lives. It was said at the end of the airport project  Basil Read offered this water to Connect St Helena and the government, they refused it  on the grounds it was unfit. When no natural water falls from the skies, a good source of brackish water is ideal and can be treated to make potable water as an offset water supply in drought conditions.

Connect St Helena who manages the Islands utility services has urged residence to reduce water consumption immediately as the amount of water collected is less than 80 percent of that been used. Over the past few weeks water has been transported the old fashion way around the Island by using water trucks (bowsers). The bowsers are filling mostly from Jamestown and the borehole water point in Dry Gut and taken to HTH and Longwood. During this period both HTH and Longwood areas are deficient in water supplies, maybe Levelwood as well. Perhaps the Levelwood consumption rates have shot up due to the house building development there. More people appear to be choosing level wood to build their homes. Last week the water supply had to be completely shut off in the level wood area as the reservoir feeding the level wood area had become contaminated. An investigation is in progress to identify the cause of the contamination this situation has not help the water shortage situation.

Over the years the government secured funding and made several attempts to overcome drought periods by implementing several solutions to manage domestic water storage and distribution. In hindsight this apparently did nothing for our current situation. Residence lives depend on the next decision the government has to make and that is to rectify this problem once for all and quickly. One would hate to be in the officials’ shoes that have the responsibility for our very existence over the coming months if rain doesn’t come. Will the powers to be instruct the service provider to make more boreholes or desalinate seawater before it is too late?

Dry gut water bore hole

Water discovery at Dry Gut

It was also noted by another Islander who was contacted about the water situation he said no decision will be made as most decision makers/officials are leaving on overseas leave soon, so the situation will remain the same. The same frustrated Islander said the Government should stop dancing around and put some serious people and funds into extracting ground water or desalination processes to offset the dry periods. Desalinating seawater is easy as the island is surrounded by the unlimited supply. For just 4000 people in the dry period this would be a piece of cake. Desalination need not be expensive, you can use renewable energies to desalinate small volumes of water as every little helps. St Helena is ideal for renewable energy, lots of wind, lots of water, seawater that is, for hydro pumping and electricity generation and lots of sun and humidity for solar powered energy. The Islanders can’t afford to import water tanks to help our reliance on the island water supply as the cost of freight and customs duties prohibits this. Connect St Helena has also said that that there is a possibility that further restrictions will have to be put in place to help overcome the situation if consumption is not reduced. Why not tell us more on what they are doing to address the out of water situation, which is eminent if the anticipated rain doesn’t come yet?

The consumption of water could also increase as the festive season draws near which means more people visiting the Island and more increases in water consumption, even if you drink bottled water you still need to go to the toilet sometime to flush it away.

Did you know that water delivered to the domestic tap is charged at 97 pence a cubic metre?

Do you have a story to share? Contact us now hellosthelena@sthelenalocal.com

BAND OF BUILDERS Launches fundraising work wear range for fellow St Helenian employee

A tradesman who orchestrated a real-life DIY SOS-style makeover for his cancer-stricken friend who originated from St Helena has launched a workwear range to continue his fundraising drive.

Addam Smith posted a heartfelt video on the Builders Talk Group that led to fellow tradesmen and people from across the world donating thousands of pounds to help his employee and friend Keith Ellick (from St Helena) after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The landscaper and former Grenadier Guard also organised a week-long revamp of Keith’s council-owned home, carried out by fellow tradesmen who travelled from across the country to help.

The project hit the headlines across the world, gaining celebrity support and earning the group the title ‘Band of Builders’.

What followed was a new aim to raise £100,000 so Addam and his fellow fundraisers can buy Keith’s home for him, securing his family’s future in the event of his death.

To achieve that goal, Addam is now taking things a step further and has launched a range of workwear to raise funds to #givekeithalift. bobworkwear3

“When I started this, I just wanted to help my mate but the support from builders and members of the public across the country – even the world – has been incredible,” he said.

“Our aim now is that every building site will have Band of Builders gear so we can spread the word, get more support and raise the money Keith needs to buy his house and have peace of mind that his family will be okay when he’s gone.”

The Band of Builders workwear range includes t-shirts, hoodies, beanies, tape measures, mugs and hi-viz jackets. They can all be purchased through the website www.bandofbuilders.com.

Band of Builders

Band of Builders work wear just for Builders

Any profit made through the sales of products will go into the fund set up to help Keith Ellick.

But once the £100,000 target is reached, Addam plans to continue to raise funds to help other tradesmen who find themselves on hard times.

“We’ve seen what we can do to help one guy, we could do this to help people all over the place.

“Band of Builders has captured people’s imagination and shown just how much generosity there is out there, so we can really go somewhere with this.

“I want to create a community of people across the country. They might not know each other, but when they see someone else in Band of Builders gear they’ll know they’re all wearing it for the same reasons.”

Alongside the sale of workwear, the group have started a Facebook campaign to spread the word about their efforts, posting pictures of themselves with the slogan ‘I Lifted Keith’.

Contributed by Ellen Manning edited for St Helena local

 

Atlantic Star Airlines remains committed to St Helena despite wind shear warnings.

Last week’s rumours around town and on social media about Atlantic Star Airlines flying an aircraft to St Helena have come to fruition and the flight is now scheduled to arrive next week.

The Aircraft used by Atlantic Star is an Avro RJ100. The Journey will begin at Zurich in Switzerland then on to West Africa calling at Ascension Island for refuelling before the journey continues to St Helena.

This Aircraft which is owned by TronosJet, an Aircraft maintenance organisation based in Canada.

Tronosjet is well known in the aviation business and owns over 20 AVRO RJ/BAE 146 family aircraft and specializes in the aircraft maintenance and aircraft leasing.

The Avro RJ will be flown by specialist experienced pilots. Two Directors from Atlantic Star Airlines, along with other aviation specialists will also be on board.

Atlantic Star Airlines who have been committed to offering an Air Service to St Helena were schedule to make their first long haul journey from London to St Helena in May 2016 chartering a Boeing aircraft but was unable to deliver due to the airport not being commissioned for commercial operations.

Atlantic Star Airlines has always been committed to help find a solution to air access for St Helena.

The visit to the Island on this occasion is a non-commercial technical visit for Atlantic Star and TronosJet.

The crew will stay overnight on St Helena, accommodation and catering has been arranged to accommodate the visit before departing for South America.

The four engine turbo fan AVRO RJ100 ticks many boxes as a potential aircraft that could offer a service to the Island from Ascension and Cape Town to suit the constraints of the Islands airport.

The Aircraft type is owned by many civil organisations and private owners all over the world including RAF Queens Flight, AirFrance CityJet and Brussels Airlines and is renowned for its landing and take-off performance in identical runway lengths and conditions similar to St Helena.

Details of the exact accurate arrival times are not available yet however, it is hope that this along with other information will be released soon as the itinerary planning is completed. Captain Richard Brown from Atlantic Star is keen to meet with as many people on St Helena during his short stay, He is hoping to arrange a question and answer session in The Consulate Hotel on the evening of his arrival.

We Don’t Sell Fast Food, We Sell Fresh Food as fast as we can at the new Sandwich Bar?

With no regular flights to St Helena and no influx of predicted tourist walking around town there is no stopping business in Jamestown for Island Images. Last week Island Images were hosting visitors on a private jet, This week they have opened branch number two of the popular Sandwich Bar in Jamestown.  Island Images who offers several business services to the St Helena’s tourism industry has opened a second Sandwich Bar branch today at the market in Jamestown. The market in Jamestown which was recently renovated offers various size units  that host several private local businesses.

The Sandwich Bar offers a range of fresh sandwiches, baguettes, buns with various fillings, a selection of salads, homemade cakes, panni’s, toasties, sushi and more.  Derek and Linda Richards who owns the Sandwich Bar, offers an amazing service unlike other takeaway facilities on Island, The Sandwich bar opens 6 days a week and offers a daily menu to their customers direct to their email inbox every day and also online or you can dial-a-Sandwich. This service works for us and the customer said Derek as people can order ahead of time and this drives down the wait time for customers on the go. Island Images also offers dining facilities with a difference for events and takeaway parties, along with Travel and Tour services for anyone visiting St Helena, information about services offered can be found on their website. If you have used the service at the Sandwich bar please feel free to leave your feedback at the bottom of their listed business here on the Islands business directory.

 

obsidian hotel

Ascension Island Accommodation drought for September.

Ascension Island Government has announced that there is no available Hotel Accommodation available for rent for the first three weeks in the month of September.

The Obsidian Hotel which is located in Georgetown, is the only Hotel on the Island, but the hotel is confirmed as fully booked from the 1st September to the 23rd September 2016. The fully booked accommodation affects visitors that would like to connect with the RMS St Helena sailing to St Helena on the 18th September 2016. Any one transiting via Ascension is required to have confirmed accommodation arrangement’s before an entry permit is issued by The Ascension Government.

Ascension Island is not the usual tourist destination but it is possible to visit using the South Atlantic Air bridge link via RAF Brize Norton.

For Sale Pub Paradise

Living in Paradise – It could be possible as Paradise is re-offered for sale.

Have you ever dreamt about living in paradise?  This could now be possible for someone who is interested in buying an Island business which has a proven track record of success since 1994. If this sounds like something that would interest you then you would be please to know that Pub Paradise has been re-offered for sale. Pub Paradise which is located at the entrance to Longwood which is the home of one of the biggest Island tourist attractions (Napoleons House) Pub Paradise is also on route to the St Helena Airport which lies only a few kilometres away and also a stone throw away from one of the renowned Islands senior schools.

Pub Paradise is a fully established popular Island business and features a fully detached property and consist of a fully functional bar and patio. The Pub has a seating capacity of seventy five. The large kitchen area is spacious and suitable for accommodating all event catering needs. The Pub also features secluded residential home comforts that is located at the rear of the property which has a dining area, lounge,  two large bedrooms and a bathroom and toilet. A large garage is also included along with a storeroom and a basement that can accommodate two large vehicles. Two twenty foot storage containers which is also included in the sale. The property has a large garden, lawn, along with off-road private customer parking. Anyone interested in this amazing business venture can Email Pub Paradise for more details about the sale of Pub Paradise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Addam Smith

Support to Lift Keith continues and Keith marries his partner Sasha.

Back in May we contributed to the fascinating story about how a group of builders and tradesmen led by Adam Smith from Lincoln UK, help ex-serviceman and fellow St Helenian Keith Ellick by renovating his house and garden shortly after he was told the news that he was diagnosed with cancer.

Many of you who will recall Adam Smith who owns ALS fencing and landscaping as well as a member of the 18000 member Facebook group “builders talk forum” has continued to support Keith through his illness and is determined to help raise funding to buy Keith’s House.

band of builders clothing

Band of Builders clothing is now available for sale. every order that is processed attracts a donation of £5.00

Addam who originally setup https://www.gofundme.com/Liftkeith has recently produced a logo with the title “Band of Builders/lift Keith” has teamed up with a printing firm from Lincoln http://www.printzuk.co.uk/  to print the newly designed  logo onto tradesmen work clothing such as hoodies, T-shirts and high viz waistcoats.

The work clothing with the new logo is now available for sale to the tradesmen and the general public and every order that is processed attracts a donation of £5 to the lift Keith fund. The T-shirts which cost £10, Hoodies £20.00 and the high viz waistcoats that cost £5.00 are available to buy from http://www.printzuk.co.uk/  a minimum of two garments are accepted, orders can only be taken via the telephone however it is thought that online ordering will be available soon.

Keith and Sasha Ellick

Keith and Sasha tied the knot today at a wedding ceremony in Lincoln UK.

 

Another successful event that raised funds for the lift Keith fund was held on Saturday night at the Regent Hotel in Swindon Wiltshire UK, this event was well attended with over 120 people attending and was organised by Nick and Kaylee Crowie.

Keith who is doing well and responding to his treatment has reached another milestone event today as he married his partner Sasha in a low-key ceremony which took place at 12 noon in Lincoln.

The ceremony was witnessed by the Keith and Sasha’s family and friends and invited guest along with a special guest Addam Smith and his family who is the founder and motivator behind the lift Keith Fund.  Also attending were some of the builders that helped to renovate Keith’s house, there was also a surprise visit from the RAF Regiment who were formed the guard of honour.  Addam mention in his update earlier this evening that during the entire event there was not a dry tear in the house today.

 

 

 

Photo’s supplied by Addam Smith.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish (below) Keith and Sasha all the very best for future.

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