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On your marks, get set, GO! St Helena’s first mountain biking competition

September 25, 2014 in Island Life, News

This is a guest post from Christina Stroud of the tourism office.

St Helena’s Mountain Bike Competition started off at 11:00 am at the Millennium Forest.  Tourism Projects Manager, Merrill Joshua, welcomed spectators and riders. After a briefing all riders were assigned their numbers and got ready on the starting line, the Millennium Forest. The route was across a five-mile challenging track, on route towards Cox’s Battery along hilly, steep terrain and eventually looping back to the Millennium Forest. It takes skill, dedication and fitness to reach the winning positions.

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The riders that participated were:

No Name Time out Time In Total
1 Remi Bruneton 27.49 27.49 2nd Place
2 Alonzon Henry 27.01 27.01 1st Place
3 Rick Walters -30 29.00 28.30
4 Andy Day -30 Did not complete
5 Ross Antonion Leo -60 29.10 28.10 3rd Place
6 Nigel McMichael -60 31.15 30.15
7 Lizemarie Robbetse - - - -
8 John Woolacot - - - -
9 Michael Davis -1.30 28.10 26.80 Ineligible (discussed and agreed 20/09)
10 Hannah Lowe -1.30 51.33 50.03
11 Louis Allen Youde -2.00 53.44 51.44
12 Deon Robbertse - - - -
13 Richard Moors 2.30 48.34 46.04
14 Derrick Alexander 2.30 48.49 46.19
15 Dennis Leo 3.00 52.19 49.19
16 Steven Theron 3.00 47.34 44.34

Remi Bruneton took the lead closely followed by Alonzon Henry, hot on their heels were Rick Walters, Ross Leo and Michael Davis.  At the bottom of the valley there is a dangerous drop zone so all riders were advised to get off their bikes and walk this area. It was here that Alonzon Henry took advantage and got into lead position and continued to hold his position to the finish line at the Millennium Forest.

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There was also other activities and family entertainment on the day with Mr Colin Peters providing musical entertainment, National Trust with a cafe, SanRay’s selling food and soft drinks, Leroy Fowler selling pop corn and candy floss, Creative St Helena with their kiddies creative section, National Trust plant a tree and paint a footprint trail, and also the Forestry Projects debut kiddie cycling track through the Millennium Forest.

Alonso winner Mountain Bike Competition

Alonso winner Mountain Bike Competition

Winner of the Kids track was Scott Thomas.

The event finished with a Prize Giving and a general message of gratitude to all that contributed and supported St Helena’s first Mountain Bike Competition.

3rd Place                Ross A Leo                         Mountain Bike T Shirt and water bottle

2nd Place               Remi Bruneton                   A portable barbeque

1st Place                 Alonzon Henry                        Go Pro Camera & Trophy

 

 

 

Twice the size in just two years

September 11, 2014 in Island Life

St Helena Arts and Crafts moved to the Canister from a gloomy room at the back of Broadway House just two years ago.  The move to larger and certainly more pleasant premises in a far more prominent location has brought with it an Arts and Crafts organisation which is thriving now more than ever before.

The number of people making craftwork for sale at the Canister has increased by about forty, making the total number of craft workers providing work for sale double what it was just before the move.  The range of local craftwork offered for sale has also increased.  The longstanding wood and lace craft continues but the range of items made from local wood is larger and more people are now offering lacework as well as adapting the style of their lacework to what today’s tourists want to buy.  Recycled products made at SHAPE’s (St Helena’s Active Participation in Enterprise) headquarters in Sandy Bay add further to the range of choice available.

The range of crafted wood available using local materials now includes dishes, clock faces and book-ends made to commemorate the RMS being taken out of service in 2016.  A further range of commemorative items, this time marking the bicentenary of Napoleon, will also be available.

The wood craft includes the recent addition of souvenir items to commemorate the RMS being taken out of service in 2016

The wood craft includes the recent addition of souvenir items to commemorate the RMS being taken out of service in 2016

Locally crafted wood can be inlaid with Napoleonic images to mark next year’s bicentenary

Locally crafted wood can be inlaid with Napoleonic images to mark next year’s bicentenary

In addition to the recycled works from SHAPE another relatively recent addition to the range of souvenirs available is the raw flax work where some skilled work has been produced since the visit of world renowned flax artist Veranoa Hetet in 2012.  Veranoa came to St Helena to train some craft workers in how to use flax.  Since the training sessions given by Veranoa, Wanda Isaac has developed her skills to a high standard and is teaching others how to work with flax.

A bouquet of flowers, handmade from flax

A bouquet of flowers, handmade from flax

Embroidered shopping bags and handbags are another increasingly popular line and more interest is being shown since the Artists Corner Exhibition in November last year in offering paintings for sale.

Arts and Crafts have established their own quality assurance mark.  ‘Uniquely Saint’ is the mark used to assure customers that what they are buying has been hand crafted in St Helena using local materials to a high standard.

Arts and Crafts is developing into a ‘nice little earner’ for those who are interested in craftwork and are lucky enough to have the necessary skills.  The revenue taken by Arts and Crafts at the Canister is gradually and consistently increasing.  The Arts and Crafts organisation seems to be positioning itself well to take advantage of the increased numbers of tourists expected after the airport opens.

Anyone interested in contacting Arts and Crafts directly can email them on uniquelysaint@outlook.com

Goodbye to the Giant Earwig

September 4, 2014 in Island Life

The St Helena Giant Earwig is following the St Helena Olive into extinction.  Last sighted in 1967 and otherwise known as Labidura herculeana the official announcement that the Giant Earwigis no longer with us is really just part of a massive operation involving a tremendous amount of field research and an untold number of hours recording everything that is known about St Helena’s 457 endemic invertebrates, otherwise known as ‘bugs’.

 

The Giant Earwig

The Giant Earwig Labidura herculeana – now officially declared extinct

 

David ‘The Bug man’ Pryce has spent the last eighteen months searching through the undergrowth, under rocks and among the trees and shrubs in search of all sorts of insects.  Most of his time though has been devoted to searching through old books, manuscripts and scientific papers for information and records.  All of this effort is focussed on counting and cataloguing all species of bugs from the bottom of guts to the tops of ridges which are known to man.  Some of the rarest bugs can be literally under your feet; others are clinging to the side of a remote valley.

The Frosted Fungus Weevil is one of those you could easily have trodden on.  It is so small you need a microscope to identify it properly.  Like the Giant Earwig, the Frosted Fungus Weevil has not been seen since 1967 but is now known to be alive and well and living in Lower Rupert’s Valley.  The home of the Frosted Fungus Weevil is under Samphire.

The Blushing Snail was thought to be the last remaining endemic snail surviving in St Helena until 1994 when Phillip and Myrtle Ashmole discovered a reasonable number of Ammonite Snails quietly going about their business in a small remote corner of a high ridge.  Previous records of very small populations at two nearby locations were not considered reliable enough as confirmation that Ammonite Snail still lived and breathed.  Unlike the Giant Earwig, the Frosted Fungus Weevil and the Ammonite Snail are again known to man and have been officially brought back from near extinction; they are now one step away from the fate of the Giant Earwig and are respectively classified as Endangered and Critically Endangered.

The Ammonite Snail

The Ammonite Snail

David Pryce’s work comes to a close at the end of the year.  So far he has 41,773 individual records in his species information data bank and 267,400 pieces of data in his records file about the 1,337 bugs living in St Helena.  457 of these bugs cannot be found anywhere else on earth; this means 29%, an unusually high proportion, of the invertebrates known to be surviving here are endemics.  To put this in proportion, apart from the Frosted Fungus Weevil there are 28 other species of Fungus Weevil in St Helena.  The 29 species of this type of weevil surviving within our 47 square miles is more than the total number of similar species known to exist throughout the entire continent of Europe.  The Galapagos Islands are world renowned for the unusual species existing within those shores; the tortoise being the most famous of them.  When it comes to endemic bugs, St Helena beats the Galapagos hands down.  St Helena can claim to have more than seven times more species of endemic invertebrates per square mile than the globally famous and much studied Galapagos Islands.

Apart from assembling the biggest and best bank of data about St Helena’s invertebrates, if David Pryce’s work is put together with Judith Brown’s similar work on marine species and the data held on plants, lichens and mosses; much of it published in 2012 by Phil Lambdon, Martin Wigginton and Andre Aptroot, St Helena now has the best knowledge base on its endemic terrestrial and marine wild life populations of any geographical area anywhere in the world.

The downside to all this is that when David Pryce’s work is finished it is expected that most of the 457 bugs will be classified as Endangered, Critically Endangered or Vulnerable and will be officially ‘Red Listed’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature [IUCN].  At present only 24 St Helenian bugs are officially red listed; a further 391 need to be classified.  So far, work on only 16 of the 391 has been completed.   The IUCN have rigorous methods for officially classifying any species and David’s field research and records are being used to confirm the status of the Island’s invertebrates.  Together with Liza White at the Environmental Management Division David is working through the list of endemic bugs to put together the data required for each individual species in order to get official international recognition of their extinction risk.  Having established the numbers of species in St Helena whose existence is threatened it is possible that international cooperation to protect them will be more forthcoming.

David Pryce is part of the St Helena National Trust Bugs on the Brink Project which is working to lay the foundations for the conservation of St Helena’s unique bugs, many of which are on the brink of extinction. It is a partnership project between Buglife, Saint Helena National Trust, Saint Helena Government and Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and is funded by the Darwin Initiative.

 

Enterprise St Helena at Reading Sports Day 2014

August 28, 2014 in News

Today’s guest blog post is from Manager of New Horizons (a youth centre on St Helena), Nick Stevens. Over the weekend he attended St Helena’s annual Reading Sports Day; an event still going strong after 35 years, which sees Saints (St Helenians) from across the UK visit Reading to catch up with friends, family and meet new people.

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We were at Reading bright and early on Sunday, to set up the Enterprise St Helena (ESH) stall. Every year numerous people, mostly Saints, visit the stall to understand what ESH offers in terms of business grants and loans. This year was no exception and we received plenty of interest.

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We informed visitors to the stall that St Helena is looking for people to set up businesses that will help develop the tourist industry; mainly in Catering and Hospitality. We also highlighted that there are opportunities for potential employment in Fishing, Agriculture and Construction.

Most people we talked to said that they are very interested in returning home to St Helena. The biggest obstacle for most is the fare home; others stated that they would like to know the cost of airfares to St Helena as soon as possible so that they can plan their return home. It was clear throughout the course of the day that most people were supportive of the Airport and were pleased with how the project is developing.

Below are a range of pictures from Reading Sports Day 2014, kindly provided by Simon Pipe of St Helena Online:

Follow in the Footsteps of Halley with New Stargazing Tour

August 21, 2014 in News, Tourism

If you fancy a stargazing adventure then you should consider embarking to St Helena. Located 16 degrees south of the equator, virtually every constellation in the sky is visible at one time or another during the year.

Now you can easily travel to enjoy them, thanks to a new voyage pairing St Helena – one time home to the observatory of Edmond “comet” Halley – and a visit to South Africa’s national observatory. Combine this with a visit to the South African Astronomical Observatories (SAAO) telescopes outside Sutherland in the Western Cape for a truly spellbinding experience.

NIGHT SKY

The new 19-day tour departs from Cape Town in May 2015 on board the RMS St Helena, one of the last working royal mail ships in the world, in the company of professional stargazer, dark skies consultant, and author of the book “Stargazing for Dummies”, Steve Owens. For the ultimate optical package, guests can add on the five-day pre tour to the Western Cape, visiting Sutherland to see the Southern Africa Large Telescope along with ample opportunities to appreciate the Southern hemisphere’s stellar nightscape.

Next stop is our island, St Helena, steeped in astronomical history and one of the few places where both The Plough and the Southern Cross can be seen in the sky at the same time. Visitors can also marvel at the the Magellanic Clouds, and the galactic centre of the Milky Way. Time on St Helena will include guided tours of Jamestown’s historical sites and buildings, visits to local landmarks such as the Heart Shaped Waterfall and Diana’s Peak, a Napoleonic tour, coastal sightseeing including seeking out dolphins and nocturnal sky watching.

If you’re interested the tour, departing Cape Town on 4th May 2015, costs from £2,695 per person including accommodation in a shared two berth cabin on A deck with private facilities and full board while on board the RMS St Helena, in a twin/double room on St Helena on a bed and breakfast basis, all tours on St Helena with evening meals where mentioned.  The Western Cape pre-tour departs on 30th April and costs from £915 per person, based on sharing a twin room,  all accommodation and meals as mentioned in the itinerary, entry fees and guiding fees. International flights are extra.

For more information and to book, click here.

Don’t miss the boat! Last chance to enter the Governor’s Cup Yacht race before it changes forever

August 19, 2014 in Tourism

Entries are now open for the truly unique Governor’s Cup Yacht Race from False Bay Yacht Club near the historic Simon’s Town, South Africa to Jamestown, St Helena Island – one of the world’s best kept secrets. This exhilarating 1,700 nautical mile downwind race to one of the most extraordinary places on earth starts on 27th December 2014 and is the last time it will take place in its current format, making it a once in a lifetime race!

Ray of Light

Every two years since 1996, intrepid sailors looking for a one-of-a-kind racing experience, have taken part in the Governor’s Cup Yacht Race, which after an 8 – 14 day handicap chase across the South Atlantic, culminates in an activity-filled stay on St Helena – an island currently only accessible by private yacht or on one of the last operating Royal Mail Ships, the RMS St Helena. Following their stay on St Helena, supporters, family and crews enjoy a relaxing cruise back to Cape Town onboard the RMS St Helena offering an abundance of fun-filled activities and post race parties.

2014 sees the last time the race will take place in this format with the opening of a new airport on St Helena due in February 2016 and the subsequent decommission of the RMS St Helena – so don’t miss the boat and make sure you enter today. Entrants typically range from fast racing boats with experienced crews to cruising boats manned by small families, offering an experience for everyone.

To find out more and to download an entry form for the 2014 Governor’s Cup Yacht Race, visit the ‘Taking Part’ section of governorscup2014.com. To connect with previous race entrants and those already signed up for this year visit the Governor’s Cup Facebook page facebook.com/Governorscup2014 or @Governors_Cup. The closing date for entries to the race is 31st October 2014.

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I look at St Helena every day

August 18, 2014 in Tourism

This is a blog post written by Erik Brown who visited St Helena as a representative of Halcyon Collections, a bespoke travel company.

I look at St Helena every day. It’s the screensaver on my Apple Mac – a shot I took as we were sailing away from the island after a too short four-day visit. St Helena is hazy in the photograph, but I can still make out Lot’s Wife and Sandy Bay. The sky is cloudy, but there’s plenty of blue around the clouds and the ocean is a deep indigo.

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I don’t know about you, but it often takes me a while to work out what I think about a place. There are trips I’ve been on – and quite expensive trips, at that – that I still have no real opinion about: Thailand, for instance. We spent three weeks driving across the country from temple to temple until we were exhausted. But I still don’t really know whether it was a good holiday.

St Helena, on the other hand, left me wanting more. It’s getting on for a month since we left, and I’m still having flashbacks: of three of us sitting, drinking coffee, in a café by the moat watching a Fairy Tern preen itself in a tree; of me snaffling some of Marlene Yon’s superb cake left for us under a little cloche in Susan’s Town House; of four of us drinking Stephen Biggs’s excellent coffee on the veranda of Farm Lodge; and of all of us hanging on while Aaron Legg drove his Mitsubishi people carrier into places that even the most adventurous donkey might have shied away from.

There had been four of us in our party: me – representing Halcyon Collections; Clive Stacey, founder of Discover the World; Max Johnson, founder of The Great Canadian Travel Company; and Janet Shankland, who represents St Helena Tourism in the UK. I was incredibly lucky with my travelling companions. Within a few hours we chaps had become “Janet’s boys”, and the practical jokes had begun.

I’ve written elsewhere that travelling to St Helena was like going home. And I don’t just mean going home to my geographical birthplace in the North Riding of Yorkshire. I mean it was like going back to my childhood in the 1950s and 60s.

The comparison is entirely positive. I found the Saints friendly, warm and willing to stop and chat on the street, just as people had been in my home town all of those years ago. It’s something I miss in the driven chaos of London.

The journey on the RMS St Helena had a nostalgic feel too. The last time I played a game that involved racing plywood animals threaded with string across a floor was probably at Butlin’s in Filey on the North Yorkshire coast in the 1960s. And the RMS has rekindled a forgotten taste for beef tea, which I now have at least once a day – with a dash or two of Tabasco.

The RMS was a vital part of the journey. I’ve been to countries all over the world, and I’ve usually descended from the skies after an uncomfortable journey in the belly of a plane. The sense of arrival has always been enfeebled as a result.

Catching sight of St Helena as a smudge on the horizon after five days at sea was genuinely exciting. The sea journey made the arrival special in a way that arriving at an airport can never be. And even our passage through immigration was a pleasure, with smiling officials laughing and joking as they checked our documents.

I was mortified to hear that the plucky little RMS could be sold for scrap. (And if anybody wants to launch a Save the RMS campaign, consider me a signatory to the petition.)

And so to business. What do I make of St Helena as a tourist destination? Well, I think there are two answers to that question, and they are time tied.

Before the airport opens in 2016, I think the journey to this most remote of islands is one of the last Great Adventures in the world. And that is how we are marketing it at Halcyon.

Curiously, our group of travellers was bang on for the current target market. We chaps were aged between 58 and 63. All three of us had founded companies. Two of us had sold them. We were still fit – in an act of sheer chutzpah, Clive actually got to the top of Jacob’s Ladder – and we were curious enough to want to know about pansubtropical dolphins, Tungi and Napoleon’s bathtub.

After the airport opens, I guess there’ll be a steady increase in the flow of tourists from Europe, albeit from a low base. The age of the target market could drop significantly: big game fishing, scuba diving and hiking should exert a strong pull on a younger market. But whatever the age the ideal, I believe, would be a lower volume of higher-spending travellers.

Yesterday, somebody asked me what the highlight of the trip was, and for once I was completely lost for words. Then I realised, it was all highlight: I honestly loved every minute of it.

 

St Helena’s French Connection is Getting Stronger – About 40% Stronger

August 7, 2014 in News, Tourism

When taking the road from Jamestown to Napoleon’s Tomb and Longwood House the route immediately starts to climb up into the hills that surround the valley in which Jamestown lies. The air soon becomes refreshingly cooler; a welcome relief on a hot summer’s day. Just before reaching the ridge overlooking Seine Valley, where Napoleon was buried, there is a sign informing all passers-by that the Most Remote Distillery in the World is just a few steps away. Just off the main road, hidden among the trees, the St Helena Distillery is quietly and constantly producing a range of remarkable drinks for local consumption and for export.

The St Helena Distillery is now eight years old. Paul Hickling, the owner, has been improving, embellishing and expanding his range of drinks over those eight years. Next year he will have reached an important milestone. After starting with the distillation of the fruit from the local prickly pear, to produce ‘Tungi’, a drink which has been likened to the Italian ‘Grappa’, Paul went on to develop a coffee liqueur called ‘Midnight Mist’, a happy marriage between ‘Tungi’ and the world renowned St Helena Coffee. After that, White Lion Rum and Jamestown Gin were added to the range. In about twelve months time another auspicious drink will be added to the St Helena Distillery range.

To mark the bi-centenary of Napoleon’s exile to St Helena the St Helena Distillery is producing a limited edition commemorative brandy. For some time now the brandy has been quietly doing whatever it is brandy does when it is stored in French oak barrels; maturing nicely and getting itself ready for the enjoyment of connoisseurs. The French barrels are made by a family of cooper craftsmen from Cognac, the premier brandy producing region of France. The brandy will remain in the Cognac barrels for another year before being bottled and made ready for sale. The French barrels were specially chosen because of the way they help to improve the taste of the brandy stored inside them.

 

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St Helena Brandy maturing at the World’s Most Remote Distillery

There are just two barrels lying in storage at the world’s most remote distillery, among the trees in the Alarm Forest district of St Helena. The brandy will be ready for drinking in time for one of the most important anniversaries St Helena will have this century; the bi-centenary of Napoleon’s exile to St Helena in October 1815. There is enough brandy in the barrels to fill one thousand brandy bottles. Those one thousand bottles of brandy will be a special limited edition produced specially for the bi-centenary. Each bottle will be individually numbered and have a special commemorative label. The ‘cork’ for the bottle, which is likely to be a glass stopper, will have a gold 10 franc Napoleonic coin embedded in the top. This commemorative production will be something very much more than the usual commemorative editions so often produced when a golden jubilee or similar anniversary comes around.

Arrangements have already been made for many of the one thousand bottles to be sold in France and elsewhere in Europe. A big launch is being planned for 15th October 2015 most probably at a prominent location in Paris.

Just a few years ago the Fondation Napoleon launched Operation St Helena, an international appeal for funds to save Napoleon’s house in St Helena, Longwood House.  The fund is still open for acceptance of further contributions but sufficient money has already been raised to finance the complete renovation of the General’s Quarters at the rear of Longwood House. This work is also scheduled for completion in time to commemorate the bi-centenary of Napoleon’s exile.

Because the Fondation Napoleon appeal raised so much interest worldwide, but particularly among the French, it is entirely possible the launch of St Helena Distillery’s commemorative brandy will attract significant interest not just among connoisseurs of brandy but also among the admirers and devotees of one of France’s favourite national leaders.

In the meantime, the final details are being decided for the design of the commemorative bottle and the label for it. The public launch in Paris will be a big event and many details still have to be resolved and confirmed. There is an ever stronger feeling that the one thousand limited edition bottles of St Helena Distillery’s Napoleon brandy will not spend very long sitting on the shelves. If you want a bottle but find you are too late with your order, do not lose heart. Preparations are already in hand for a further limited edition commemorative brandy from the St Helena Distillery in 2021 – to mark the death of Napoleon. The St Helena Distillery can be contacted at;- tungiman@gmail.com.

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Paul Hickling, owner of the St Helena Distillery, checking the rum in a fermentation tank

Vote for the RMS St Helena in the Cruise International Awards 2014

July 31, 2014 in Tourism

Once again the RMS St Helena has been shortlisted in the UK’s Cruise International Awards, in their Adventure category! Please show your support by voting for us.

You can vote here.

RMS

Other nominees in this category include:

  • Azamara Club Cruise
  • Hurtigrute
  • Noble Caledonia
  • Silversea
  • Voyages to Antiquity

The RMS St Helena is part of the island’s fabric, offering a truly unique adventure and worthy of winning the Adventure category. On Board the RMS you are not just another number, but become part of a family.

Credit to Marc Lavaud (www.marclavaud.com).

Credit to Marc Lavaud (www.marclavaud.com).

 

Here is a selection of our favourite posts about the RMS St Helena:

o   Going remote on St Helena

o   Getting to St Helena on the RMS St Helena

o   Why the RMS’s Captain Greentree welcomes airport development

o   The daily astonishment of the Log of the Watch

 

Earth-shattering progress! St Helena’s airport continues to take shape

July 24, 2014 in News, Tourism

This is a guest post by Chairman of the Tourism Association, Vince Thompson. He provides us with the latest information on the construction of St Helena airport, accompanied by pictures from the site.

The airport is now really starting to take shape.  As the fill in Dry Gut rises ever closer to the finish level more work is being done on the airport itself. Basil Read’s Island Director gave The Independent/Saint FM a tour of the airport site this week.   The tour started at the car park where an area large enough to park 250 cars is being prepared for the concrete paver to lay the final surface.  At the south end of the runway there is a 400-metre section that is almost ready for the various sub-surface and surface layers required to provide a safe and solid runway for planes to land and take-off.

The Last Big Blasting Job – This rock outcrop, at the northern end of the runway, will not be  there by this time next month. It will probably take three blasting operations to reduce it to  the level of the ground around it. The blasted rock will probably be taken to the other end of  the runway to provide the last fill needed at Dry Gut.

The Last Big Blasting Job – This rock outcrop, at the northern end of the runway, will not be there by this time next month. It will probably take three blasting operations to reduce it to the level of the ground around it. The blasted rock will probably be taken to the other end of the runway to provide the last fill needed at Dry Gut.

Over one million cubic metres of stone aggregate is needed to provide the sub-bases for the runway, car park, apron and several other areas.  The ground at the north end of the runway is still having the high points levelled off and the low points filled in. The Dry Gut now has over seven million cubic metres of fill compacted into it! There are now just seven more metres to go before the finish level is reached.

South End of the Runway

The South End of the Runway – The poles show the centre line of the runway. The sub-base is stone aggregate with a mix of 3% concrete to keep the surface firm. Next to the runway a further flat and firm safety area runs along both sides.

At the other end of the runway 190,000 cubic metres of fill is required to bring an area of low ground to the runway level.  Overall, the runway is an average of 30 metres below the original ground level.  Reducing the level has so far taken over 300 blasting operations and used 4,000 tonnes of explosive.  There is just one remaining big blasting operation left; at the north end of the runway a large rock outcrop will be blasted away and the shattered rock used as fill in Dry Gut. All earthworks are due to be completed by the end of this year.

Levelling the Safety Area on the Eastern Side – Safety areas running the length of the runway, on both sides, are needed in case a plane leaves the centre line of the runway on landing or when taking off.  The safety areas, together with the taxi-way and apron, have been made wider to allow planes with wider wing spans, such as Boeing 757-200 and Lockheed L100 30 to use the runway.

Levelling the Safety Area on the Eastern Side – Safety areas running the length of the runway, on both sides, are needed in case a plane leaves the centre line of the runway on landing or when taking off. The safety areas, together with the taxi-way and apron, have been made wider to allow planes with wider wing spans, such as Boeing 757-200 and Lockheed L100 30 to use the runway.

In the New Year work at the airport will concentrate on finishing the airport buildings, finishing the installation of runway lighting and getting the technical equipment already installed in the Control Tower in full running order.  There will also be a lot of work in getting the surfacing of everything from the runway to the car park finished.  Running parallel to this work will be the various parts of the certification process, the Disaster Management Plan and the enactment of required but outstanding legislations.  The airport terminal should be completed by July next year.  In a few weeks we will be reporting on progress at Rupert’s Wharf.

Looking Down to Prosperous Bay From the Runway Threshold – the lighting system for the  runway approach will be installed high on the cliff face just below the foreground in the photo.   The lights will be directed towards the open sea just left of The Barn.

Looking Down to Prosperous Bay From the Runway Threshold – the lighting system for the runway approach will be installed high on the cliff face just below the foreground in the photo. The lights will be directed towards the open sea just left of The Barn.

Just Seven Metres Higher and Half a Million Cubic Metres To Go – The massive operation to fill Dry Gut with almost 8 million cubic metres of fill is nearly done.  The depth of fill shown in the photo is not as great as the amount of fill needed at the eastern edge of the fill area.  On the right is the overflow channel for any water which builds up on the western side of Dry Gut.

Just Seven Metres Higher and Half a Million Cubic Metres To Go – The massive operation to fill Dry Gut with almost 8 million cubic metres of fill is nearly done. The depth of fill shown in the photo is not as great as the amount of fill needed at the eastern edge of the fill area. On the right is the overflow channel for any water which builds up on the western side of Dry Gut.

Levelling the Car Park and Drop-Off Area – with more stone aggregate for the sub-base.

Levelling the Car Park and Drop-Off Area – with more stone aggregate for the sub-base.

Applying the Stone Facade to the Airport Buildings – there is a lot of exterior wall to be  covered with stone,  The stone used is small and thin, many thousands of pieces will be needed; making the job very long and surely a bit tedious.

Applying the Stone Facade to the Airport Buildings – there is a lot of exterior wall to be covered with stone, The stone used is small and thin, many thousands of pieces will be needed; making the job very long and surely a bit tedious.

Horse Point Landfill Improvements to Finish Soon – The roof will go on to this building at Horse Point in a few days.  It’s the last task in the improvements at Horse Point.  As a safety measure rubbish will be tipped into the bays constructed inside the building when planes are due to land or take off instead of directly into the new pits dug at locations further into the site.

Horse Point Landfill Improvements to Finish Soon – The roof will go on to this building at Horse Point in a few days. It’s the last task in the improvements at Horse Point. As a safety measure rubbish will be tipped into the bays constructed inside the building when planes are due to land or take off instead of directly into the new pits dug at locations further into the site.

A Fresh Look at Great Stone Top – This photo is taken from an access track halfway down the gigantic slope on the eastern or seaward side of Dry Gut Fill.

A Fresh Look at Great Stone Top – This photo is taken from an access track halfway down the gigantic slope on the eastern or seaward side of Dry Gut Fill.