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RMS St Helena going to Alderney?


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I took this photo when she visited London back in January this year. Picture taken shortly after embarking a PLA pilot at the NE Spit Pilot Station.

After leaving or should I say being made redundant by British Channel Island Ferries in 1993 after the takeover by Condor Ferries I joined Geest Line. I used to work for Geest Line on their GEEST

Well she's left the island for the last time.  

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Hawser Trunnion

 

Whilst I worked onboard the Stena Normany we sometimes achieved Cherbourg to Southampton in about 4.30 hours especially when running late.

 

Yes indeed, C97 - but you had to go through the Needles channel to achieve that. Is that channel still open to ships of any consequence?

Edited by rogerpatenall
grammar
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Yes indeed, C97 - but you had to go through the Needles channel to achieve that. Is that channel still open to ships of any consequence?

 

My understanding (but it might be out of date) is that any ship (that is not too big) can proceed via Western Solent and Needles Channel (which are maintained, buoyed and lit) but that pilotage is not available and passage through the Western Solent is not supported by VTS coverage. In other words, if you come out of the Thorn Channel and turn right, you are on your own. But ships still do go this way, especially small coasters.

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The needles channel is still open to large vessels including both the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Victoria both of which are over 90,000 tonnes so yes no problem there, incidentally both have have used the needles channel on their last two departures from Southampton.

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Latest I read about St Helena is that the new airport is completed but mothballed - this from the Guardian not the Daily Mail. It turns out that the winds are too strong and it's too dangerous for planes to land. Much head scratching out there about what to do and questions here in Parliament about whether it was a good idea to spend nearly £300 million on a non functioning airport. So they may be keeping RMS in service for a while longer in the South Atlantic.

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  • 3 months later...

There was a report on France's TF1 news programme on Friday night about the airport fiasco on St Helena in the south Atlantic. I think there have been similar reports in the British press in the last week suggesting that planes are unable to land due to strong gusting winds and complaints from islanders that the expected tourism boom is now not going to happen. On the French report they said that "the vessel, which had been destined for the breakers' yard, has been given a temporary reprieve so as to maintain the lifeline link to the island". I guess from that news that the Alderney deal has fallen through. Ed

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That reminds me of the film 'raise 'Raise the Titanic'. When told of the scale of the challenge one of the characters suggests it would be easier and cheaper to just drain the Atlantic. Ed.

 

 

I heard it as 'lower' rather than 'drain' and I believe was actually attributed to Lew Grade the producer looking at a Box Office take of $7m compared with production cost of $40m and I have a feeling it was later frequently quoted in the BBC radio series The Burkiss Way usually in the mouth of the running character Lord Russian Emigre.

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I heard it as 'lower' rather than 'drain' and I believe was actually attributed to Lew Grade the producer looking at a Box Office take of $7m compared with production cost of $40m and I have a feeling it was later frequently quoted in the BBC radio series The Burkiss Way usually in the mouth of the running character Lord Russian Emigre.

 

I stand corrected. Ed

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  • 3 months later...

This is the first time I have noticed this page , I have a tenant and his family (been a tenant 15 years ) and he said the problem with the first flight in the pilot was South African and didnt have a clue , British Airways put a plane into the airport with a British pilot in November and it was a success, my tenant has said he is going to be flying home for a holiday next Christmas.

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Not a BA aircraft, but a South African 737 of Comair operating as a BA Franchise.... I am sur Martin Louw would not be very happy with you describing him as not having a clue.... clip here

Landing aborted due to wind sheer being experienced....

Edited by Skipcool3
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  • 1 year later...

Thanks for that video, Neil. I sent it on to my daughter who made one trip on RMS out to St  Helena and back on a student exchange - she always wanted the chance to back that way,  but now too late. I see the ship will be berthed in Cape Town and offered for sale there. If anyone gets news of that please pass the word around. 

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