Flicking through a recently copy of Wanderlust, I read that the RMS St Helena has set sail for the final time from Portland in the UK. Now, if you didn’t know, St Helena was the regular mail and cargo lifeline for the islands of St Helena and Ascension which still survived alongside the fairly regular RAF flights to the latter.
Several years ago I was lucky enough to spend some time on the tiny, volcanic speck that is Ascension filming green turtles (amongst other things), and experienced the buzz of the ship coming into port.
Not only did the mail and vital supplies get delivered, but most importantly bacon was on the menu at the (only) hotel for at least a week afterwards.
Aberdeen-built and entering service in 1990, RMS St Helena also carries passengers (128 of them) and I’ve always been rather taken by the prospect of slow-travel to the genuinely remote places on the planet. I’ll admit the prospect of a cruise makes my blood run cold, but there is something rather alluring about barrelling …