In her official regalia she appeared. The thrill, intoxicating. Her beautiful blue and white ‘frock’, decorated with yellow frills, she looked stunning. As she gracefully made her way through the crowded ‘path’ escorted by a faithful friend, we all gasped. Here she was, elegant and aged like a fine wine.
Here she was, a piece of our hearts, a piece of our homeland, the ultimate envoy.
The love for this graceful old girl was visible as we watched her slip through the raised medieval gateway to dock on the South Bank, in view of everyone in one of the world’s greatest cities. The bellows, the tears, the hands thrust into the air.
At 6767 tonnage, 344 ft in length and a beam of 63 ft she isn’t a giant of the ocean but a delightful little working lady.
Many would come and have a look out of curiosity. They’d have a peek and then move on. To us, to a St Helenian, we would stand and gaze, hold the moment so tightly, a piece of our hearts right there, docked in the Thamestry.
The Spirit of our Oceans – The RMS St Helena. Name her as many times again as you would like but we will never sign the ‘divorce papers’. Even as she is shipped to the scrap yard and beyond someday, the memories of laughter, parties, cool nights out on deck and cranes offloading our much needed cargo will never fade. She touched too many hearts to ever be forgotten. A floating home to many for years.
Now she has found her place transporting racing cars around the world as part of the Extreme E pageantry. Good luck auld girl!
Note to Reader: All photos have been taken / altered by Addie Thomas