This week the RMS St Helena left Cape Town harbour for its final round trip journey of three weeks to St Helena Bay and Ascension Island – a unique service that linked Cape Town with the mid-Atlantic islands for nearly 40 years.
According to the press, as of 24 January another ship will transport cargo about once a month to St Helena Bay. The only means of regular passenger travel will now be by air, thanks to a South African airline that started a weekly commercial flight in October after the delayed opening of an airport.
“Those who travelled in the old ship, however, will miss her special atmosphere, excellent service, delicious cuisine and wonderful people aboard,” said Brian Ingpen, regular contributor to the Cape Times.
2018 has been a busy year for police thus far with regard to perlemoen poaching. According to the press, millions of rands worth of illegally poached perlemoen has already been confiscated since the start of the year; with several arrests being made in the process.
The maritime industry celebrated excellence this week with the South African Maritime Industry Awards hosted by Maritime Review Africa. Making headlines this week was the win for Brian Ingpen who won in the Maritime Maestro category.
The category recognises individuals within the maritime industry acting as ambassadors to promote development of the industry in a manner above and beyond their job description.
Lawhill Maritime Centre head Debbie Owen said, “Ingpen has, through his selfless dedication and remarkable vision, helped to establish the Lawhill Maritime Centre as a role model for schools-based maritime education in South Africa and the world.”
In response to his win Ingpen said, “ I am grateful for the award and this is a team effort from a number of people. It’s been an honour to be involved in something that is working very well.”
A find of R1.2 million worth of abalone on an Intercape bus also made headlines this week. Officers, acting on a tip-off searched the bus and found approximately 600kg of abalone hidden in boxes.
JP Smith, mayco member for Safety and Security said, “We hope the Hawks and SAPS urgently investigate the bus company.”
Intercape has issued a statement saying that management had been made aware of the incident.
Last week Brian Ingpen and nine students from Lawhill Maritime Centre boarded the SA Agulhas in Simon’s Town for a navigation training voyage from Simon’s Town to Cape Town. He shared this experience in his column in the Cape Times this week.
Lawhill students do many navigation exercises, but this outing on the SA Agulhas allowed them to see the markers that they have come to recognise in theory with their own eyes. One of the tasks that they were required to perform whilst on the vessel was an accurate bearing on Slanghoek Lighthouse from the bridgewing. Completing the task on a moving ship proved a little more difficult than expected, but the students completed the task and at the same time got a chance to take in the beautiful scenery along the False Bay coastline.
It is wonderful to reading a story of an old ship making an impact on the lives of a young students and giving them the chance to experience life at sea – even if it is only for a few hours. Perhaps some of these students will go on to create more positive news headlines for the industry in their future.