In 1977, the remote British island of St Helena in the South Atlantic, host to Napoleon and Captain Bligh, and Boer War prisoner-of-war camp, was first served by a lifeline motorship dedicated to the purpose. The Royal Mail Ship St Helena became affectionately known simply as the RMS. In 1990 she was replaced by the first purpose-built vessel for the service. This, the final St Helena, embodies romanticism from the era of passenger cargo liners. At a time when fresh consideration was being given to provide the island with an airport - and the irrevocable changes it would bring - the author sailed on the RMS as part of the ship's company, to document the working life of this highly individual 'family' ship, and aspects of the island community that she served.
Using his wonderful collection of colour photographs, Trevor Boult begins with an account of a typical, yet extraordinary, voyage. He continues by spotlighting representative examples of the many diverse individuals and groups who have journeyed by sea to St Helena since its discovery over 500 years ago, and the impact they have had on the island and the rest of the world. The book concludes with the poignancy that will be felt at the end of an era, when the RMS St Helena is finally withdrawn from service.
Trevor Boult retired from the sea to become a writer. He writes for the Numast Telegraph and the Northern Lighthouse Board magazine. He sailed on the final voyage of the RRS John Biscoe, documenting the journey and the unspoilt Antarctic at a time when few people had ever visited the Southern Ocean.