After three hot and quiet days on Ascension Island we awaited our first view of the RMS St Helena on Thursday morning (16th March).
Standing in the heat with the children looking out to sea the RMS was anchored off shore awaiting our embarkation. ‘How are we going to get onto to it Daddy’ ‘will we have to swim out to it Mummy’ were amongst the questions being fired at us by our three children.
The answer was a short boat trip out to the ship with life jackets on and then a fairly smooth step onto the RMS via a set of steep steps. On another day this could have been interesting with three children, however we were blessed with clear and calm waters so we all got on board incident free.
After settling into our 5 bed cabin and realising this would be it for three days we set off. After approximately 3hrs of travel we lost sight of Ascension and any land mass until we would find St Helena three days later.
The RMS St Helena is one of the last operating Post ships and is rare as it carries both passengers and cargo. It is very well documented in other literature about its history and how it is the life line to the Island of St Helena, so I will not repeat that here. However as passengers for three days we began to feel the slow connections to St Helena. The RMS staff were lovely and we were able to talk to others about St Helena and meet people from the Island past and present. Activities on the ship included a pool which turned into a lively wave pool depending on the Atlantic Ocean, cinema for the children and evening entertainment of ‘play your cards right’, bingo and a darts. (and the occasional G&T)
After three days of good food and relatively calm waters we awoke excited on Sunday morning (19th) with the realisation that we would be seeing land and St Helena shortly. Following our final breakfast on the RMS we walked onto the rear deck and it was there that we first glimpsed land on the horizon.
By 10am we were anchored just off the shore of St Helena awaiting for the small boats to transport us to dry land. Another adventure climbing down off the RMS and taking the short ride to the dock.
It was a amazing and emotional moment seeing St Helena for the first time, knowing it would be our home for the next 2 years. We felt nervous with anticipation wondering what lay ahead of us, what would the Island be like? what would our house be like? would we be able to get food to get through the night!!…what was clear to us all was our adventure had truly begun……