Yacht wreck owner gets £200,000 pay-out

The wreck of the classic yacht Queequeg in James Bay in 2011 has resulted in an out-of-court settlement approaching a quarter of a million pounds. The veteran racing yacht broke its mooring and was blown onto rocks at the Needle’s Eye within five minutes while owner Graham Elliot and his two crew were ashore. They […]

Mickey and Mouse sail away ‘in service of the Crown’

When two kittens called Mickey and Mouse were entrusted to the care of Lyn Rattle on St Helena, finding them a new home involved hitching a 700-mile ride in a yacht. The Administrator on Ascension had a bit of a problem with mice: the kittens had been summoned. The way yachtsman David Pollitt describes it, […]

When the Loch Ness Monster went on holiday… to St Helena

Woodcut-style image

It’s a funny old world. Or rather, a Mysterious Universe… in which monstrous sea serpents swim about frightening sailors off the island of St Helena. On the 9 May, 1830, the Rob Roy, a vessel of His Majesty’s Royal Navy was passing the island when a vast brute of a fish reared up out of the […]

Governor crosses line in Falklands marathon: your turn, Mr Capes?

Falklands Radio reports that the Falkland Islands’ governor, Nigel Haywood, has crossed the finishing line in the the world’s most southerly marathon “with the governor’s flag in his hand”. Which begs the question: will his counterpart on St Helena, Mark Capes, be tackling the world’s most remote marathon in June 2012? Or maybe he’ll pass […]

AUDIO SLIDESHOW: ‘My intense grief for St Helena slaves’

Television archaeologist Mark Horton has described his emotion on coming “face to face” with the remains of slaves whose bodies were excavated from a mass grave on St Helena. They were among thousands of Africans brought to the island aboard captured slave-running vessels. “It was a moment of intense grief. Those were people. That was […]

Corruption in the Caribbean… not much on St Helena

The real pirates of the Caribbean are the ones tainting government in its British territories, according to some of the people who responded to a public consultation. Not so much was said about St Helena and the other South Atlantic islands in response to the UK government’s questions about life in the territories. Dominant concerns […]

Slideshow: St Helena’s slave graveyard


A note from Simon: the launch of the new book about the excavation of the slave graveyard in Rupert’s Valley was fabulous and fascinating. Professor Mark Horton – sometime presenter on the BBC’s Coast series – said that the island’s role in the abolition of slave-running during its most savage era was of far greater […]

Buttercup find completes Falklands set at Kew

After several failed attempts, botanist Richard Lewis has managed to collect seeds of the only endemic Falklands plant missing from an important collection at Kew. ‘I was thrilled to find large stands of the silvery buttercup (Hamadryas argentea) in a few remote valleys on Weddell Island,’ he says in Kew’s UK Overseas Territories blog. ‘I […]

‘Locals lose out’ as cruise ships turned away

Thousands of cruise passengers who’d called at the Falklands were denied the chance to spend their money in Argentina when port authorities refused two ships permission to dock. British diplomats in Argentina were reported to be ‘frantically’ trying to find out why entry was refused to the Star Princess and Adonia at Ushuaia, apparently because […]

St Helena airport: blasting to begin

Rock-blasting in Rupert’s Valley is due to begin on 1 March 2012, as part of work to build a temporary jetty for landing airport construction materials. People living in the valley have been promised they will get personal warnings of explosions.  Airport contractor Basil Read is also setting up a laboratory and store in the cannery […]