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St Helena Island 2016: The Year In Review

The RMS St Helena's life has been extended following problems with wind shear at the airport. Here she is in December 2016, heading off to Ascension Island on the Christmas shuttle run. St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

The RMS St Helena’s life has been extended following problems with wind shear at the airport. Here she is in December 2016, heading off to Ascension Island on the Christmas shuttle run.
St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

Weather It Was Good or Weather It Was Bad | Sharon Henry

Forget the ‘monkey,’ 2016 has been the year of ‘wind shear’ here on St Helena, the term meaning ‘unpredictable wind conditions’ was unfortunately introduced to the island’s vocabulary in April following a ‘wobbly’ landing of the first passenger aeroplane to touch down at the brand new airport.  Since rearing its ugly head ‘wind shear’ has postponed the opening of the airport and the new phrase now rolls of the tongue like an island-given nickname, becoming the butt of many a joke.

With all the rain pictures we were taking at the start of the year we never expected the drought that would follow. This is making use of the large rain puddles in Alarm Forest in March for our Project 366. St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

With all the rain pictures we were taking at the start of the year we never expected the drought that would follow. This is making use of the large rain puddles in Alarm Forest in March for our Project 366.
St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

Sense of humour aside, islanders have resiliently swallowed their disappointment in the year when St Helena was to throw open its doors to cheaper and faster travel, prompting promises of visits from family and friends overseas.  Damn you wind shear!

That said, it’s not been all bad.  In June the airport saved a newborn’s life with the island’s first air medevac.  Later, in October Atlantic Star Airlines swooped in like knights in shining armour to tackle the wind conditions with a chartered Avro RJ100, raising spirits and hopes in the process.  Then at the advent of Christmas the Brazilian aviation company, Embraer, threw their hat into the ring and flew an E190 into St Helena, showcasing their plane’s suitability for the airport.  “No big deal to land here,” shrugged their pilots.  Fingers crossed a fairy godmother changes our ‘white elephant’ into a cash cow sometime in 2017.

It’s not just St Helena that’s had a turbulent year, 2016’s been topsy-turvy for the world in general; Brexit, The Donald, earthquakes, refugee crisis, Russian athletics banned from the Olympics, ISIS…  The celebrity world has also been shaken with beloved megastars falling prematurely from the sky; David Bowie, Alan Rickman, George Michael, and my man, Prince.  So many idols it’s been dubbed, ‘the curse of 2016.’  And shock, horror, lowly Leicester City proved that money isn’t everything and won the Premiership!  Whatever next?

Parking in Jamestown is an increasing challenge and more and more vehicles are registered on the roads. This was the wharf in February 2016 when the RMS St Helena was in port. St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

Parking in Jamestown is an increasing challenge and more and more vehicles are registered on the roads. This was the wharf in February 2016 when the RMS St Helena was in port.
St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

Back to St Helena, flipping through 2016, it’s been quite the whirlwind.  We’ve seen drought, introduction of a new Customs system, ASYCUDA; two bye-elections, 24/7 taxis, return of Longwood House furniture and extra roadside mirrors for drivers to see ‘round corners.

Whoever thought nothing much happens in our small island community, think again.  Here’s a quick flick through 2016 with some of our most compelling images of life throughout the year.

January 2016

For a year that ended in a drought, things began so differently. Our photography excursions in January seemed to be plagued by rain and poor weather. This day driving through Seaview was typical of the month. St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

For a year that ended in a drought, things began so differently. Our photography excursions in January seemed to be plagued by rain and poor weather. This day driving through Seaview was typical of the month.
St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

Solomons opens newly refurbished ‘Malabar,’ a 19th century listed building in Main Street, Jamestown, it now houses the company’s Shipping, Travel and Insurance Services.

The Hawaiian vessel ‘Hokulea’ calls into St Helena on a round the world tour.  The Hokulea is a traditional canoe travelling the world using ancient navigational techniques.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review - January Clockwise from top left: The Market in Jamestown undergoing renovation and upgrade works. The Hawaiian vessel 'Hokulea' visits, using traditional navigation methods to travel. Thorpe's staff on a break in Jamestown. Friday afternoon live music at the Mule Yard bar in Jamestown.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review – January
Clockwise from top left:
The Market in Jamestown undergoing renovation and upgrade works.
The Hawaiian vessel ‘Hokulea’ visits, using traditional navigation methods to travel.
Thorpe’s staff on a break in Jamestown.
Friday afternoon live music at the Mule Yard bar in Jamestown.

February 2016

A sponsored walk underway in February, raising funds for the Jamestown Rifle Club. This early part of the route has the walkers climbing up through Knollcombes before heading off towards Sandy Bay. St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

A sponsored walk underway in February, raising funds for the Jamestown Rifle Club. This early part of the route has the walkers climbing up through Knollcombes before heading off towards Sandy Bay.
St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

A population and household census conducted on 7 February reveals a count of 4,534 people, of which 34% have a mobile phone, a service introduced five months earlier in September 2015.

Levelwood Allstarz win the cricket league championship for the third year running.

The ‘Castoro 7’ possibly the weirdest contraption seen in our waters, calls into St Helena to replenish supplies.  The dinosaur-like vessel is 179.7m long and is actually a pipe layer platform in transit to South Africa.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review - February Clockwise from top left: The 'Castoro 7' pipe-layer platform is towed past St Helena. Students off tall ship, Gulden Leeuw, go snorkelling on the wreck of the Papanui in James Bay. Sandy Bay resident, Campbell Buckley, gives us the inside story of his district. Everyone on St Helena took part in a full population and housing census in February.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review – February
Clockwise from top left:
The ‘Castoro 7’ pipe-layer platform is towed past St Helena.
Students off tall ship, Gulden Leeuw, go snorkelling on the wreck of the Papanui in James Bay.
Sandy Bay resident, Campbell Buckley, gives us the inside story of his district.
Everyone on St Helena took part in a full population and housing census in February.

March 2016

Two bye-elections too place in 2016. The first took place on 23 March when Mike Olsson was elected onto Legislative Council. Returning officers are seen here sealing the documents with a wax seal following the successful counting of votes. St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

Two bye-elections took place in 2016. The first was on 23 March when Mike Olsson was elected onto Legislative Council. Returning officers are seen here sealing the documents with a wax seal following the successful counting of votes.
St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

Governor Mark Capes leaves St Helena after four and a half years in office.

Atlantic Star announces approval of chartered flights direct from Luton to St Helena for 22 May and 5 June (subject to airport certification.)  Tickets start from £1299 return.  A month later the price dropped to £699 return.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review - March Clockwise from top left: On a tour of the new St Helena Airport with Deon De Jager and Charles Schwarz from Basil Read. Niall Gifford (16) who has spent half his life sailing the world with his family on their yacht, Totem. Governor Mark Capes and wife Tamara departs St Helena at the end of his term. Commonwealth Day 2016 being celebrated at the SHAPE centre in Sandy Bay.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review – March
Clockwise from top left:
On a tour of the new St Helena Airport with Deon De Jager and Charles Schwarz from Basil Read.
Niall Gifford (16) who has spent half his life sailing the world with his family on their yacht, Totem.
Governor Mark Capes and wife Tamara departs St Helena at the end of his term.
Commonwealth Day 2016 being celebrated at the SHAPE centre in Sandy Bay.

April 2016

Emma & Gordon Woodward-Clark donating the official flag from Glasgow 2014, Commonwealth Games, used by team St Helena, to the island's museum on 5 April. St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

Emma & Gordon Woodward-Clark donating the official flag from Glasgow 2014, Commonwealth Games, used by team St Helena, to the island’s museum on 5 April.
St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

Lisa Phillips, St Helena’s first female governor arrives.

SHG runs Facebook competition for VIP tickets on the official first flight to St Helena airport.  Five pairs of tickets are up for grabs.

The flag that led the St Helena team in the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow is donated to the Museum by Scottish friends of St Helena, Emma & Gordon Woodward-Clark.

A week after the Comair 737-800 experienced wind shear at St Helena Airport, SHG announce the opening ceremony is now postponed.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review - April Clockwise from top left: Governor Lisa Phillips innauguaration speech. Tungi punch, homemade from delicious island tungi fruit. Matthew Owen introducing the St Helena Donkey Home's young foal, Geoffrey. British Airways 737-800, operated by Comair, about to discover wind shear at St Helena on 18 April.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review – April
Clockwise from top left:
Governor Lisa Phillips innauguaration speech.
Tungi punch, homemade from delicious island tungi fruit.
Matthew Owen introducing the St Helena Donkey Home’s young foal, Geoffrey.
British Airways 737-800, operated by Comair, about to discover wind shear at St Helena on 18 April.

May 2016

The brand new, Miss St Helena 2016, Kimley Yon, at the end of the show being congratulated by friends and family. St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

The brand new, Miss St Helena 2016, Kimley Yon, at the end of the show being congratulated by friends and family.
St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

Newly crowned Miss St Helena, Kimley Yon donates her winnings to charity.

St Helena Day is celebrated on 20th May instead of 21st.  The 21st had been earmarked for the planned airport opening by Prince Edward.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review - May Clockwise from top left: 'Labour Take-On Time' photographic exhibition at the Musem of St Helena. A float taking part in the St Helena Day parade through Jamestown. Axis football team sporting brand new kits for the 2016 season. RFA Gold Rover departing St Helena after her final visit.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review – May
Clockwise from top left:
‘Labour Take-On Time’ photographic exhibition at the Musem of St Helena.
A float taking part in the St Helena Day parade through Jamestown.
Axis football team sporting brand new kits for the 2016 season.
RFA Gold Rover departing St Helena after her final visit.

June 2016

Volunteers and airport staff taking part in a disaster training exercise at St Helena Airport on 17 June. St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

Volunteers and airport staff taking part in a disaster training exercise at St Helena Airport on 17 June.
St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

St Helena National Trust announces highest number of endemic wirebirds ever recorded – 559.

The RMS St Helena docks alongside the HMS Belfast on the Thames in London on her ‘final’ northbound voyage to UK before going out of service.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review - June Clockwise from top left: First ever air medevac lifts off from St Helena Airport on 4 June. One of the island's few remaining working donkeys being led across Deadwood Plain. Vegetable day at Thorpes Grocery Store in Jamestown. Jamestown resident, Derek Bennett (85), tells us how he stays so fit as we tour the town.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review – June
Clockwise from top left:
First ever air medevac lifts off from St Helena Airport on 4 June.
One of the island’s few remaining working donkeys being led across Deadwood Plain.
Vegetable day at Thorpes Grocery Store in Jamestown.
Jamestown resident, Derek Bennett (85), tells us how he stays so fit as we tour the town.

July 2016

Seven week old Eli Thomas Yon, St Helena's first air medevac patient, safely back home. St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

Seven week old Eli Thomas Yon, St Helena’s first air medevac patient, safely back home.
St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

The RMS schedule that ran until September 2016 is extended to July 2017 because of the delayed airport opening and commercial flights.

Myrtle the tortoise dies of kidney failure at Plantation House aged 70 years.  She was the smallest of Plantation’s five tortoises and arrived in the early 1970’s.

Fisherman, Mark Thomas (Leggo) dies at sea whilst fishing the sea mounts on board the Amalia.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review - July Clockwise from top left: Winter fashion photoshoot with Imogen Henry on Deadwood Plain. RMS St Helena still in service after schedule extended by a year. New ASYCUDA Customs system in use at the Jamestown wharf. Stone crushers being moved very slowly across the island's narrow roads.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review – July
Clockwise from top left:
Winter fashion photoshoot with Imogen Henry on Deadwood Plain.
RMS St Helena still in service after schedule extended by a year.
New ASYCUDA Customs system in use at the Jamestown wharf.
Stone crushers being moved very slowly across the island’s narrow roads.

August 2016

New flower bed being built at the Alarm Forest bus stop. St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

New flower bed being built at the Alarm Forest bus stop.
St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

One hundred and five people lined up at the starting line for the inaugural Runway Dash at St Helena airport, on what arguably became the world’s most expensive running track.  The event raised an estimated £2,000 for the team that will represent St Helena in 2017’s NatWest Small Island Games.

St Helena coffee sells in Starbucks for the first time becoming their most expensive to-date.  Starbucks reportedly bought a third of a farm’s entire annual production.  Described as “delicate with subtle floral aromas, leading to soft citrus and caramel notes,” the coffee went down a treat.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review - August Clockwise from top left: New 24/7 taxi service begins operating. St Helena in drought after poor rainy season. Secondary school students from Longwood. First ever runway dash at St Helena Airport.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review – August
Clockwise from top left:
New 24/7 taxi service begins operating.
St Helena in drought after poor rainy season.
Secondary school students from Longwood.
First ever runway dash at St Helena Airport.

September 2016

Alarm is raised after smoke seen in the Bank of St Helena. Police and fire services respond and the incident is dealt with quickly, no major damage to property. St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

Alarm is raised after smoke seen in the Bank of St Helena. Police and fire services respond and the incident is dealt with quickly, no major damage to property.
St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

St James’ church got a new spire and What The Saints Did Next discovered the clock bell dated 1872 was made by the same foundry who cast London’s original Big Ben bell.

The 200 mile zone surrounding St Helena becomes a designated marine protected area.

Water restrictions imposed to ‘essential use only’; no watering of gardens or washing of cars.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review - September Clockwise from top left: Ship day cargo being unloaded at the wharf in Jamestown. Roddy Yon climbs to the top of St James bell tower every week to keep the historic clock ticking along. Larry Legg on his way to winning the 2016 golf open tournament. Second bye-election of the year, polls open.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review – September
Clockwise from top left:
Ship day cargo being unloaded at the wharf in Jamestown.
Roddy Yon climbs to the top of St James bell tower every week to keep the historic clock ticking along.
Larry Legg on his way to winning the 2016 golf open tournament.
Second bye-election of the year, polls open.

October 2016

Wings is the theme of Carnival 2016. The colourful event on 15 October was a huge success. St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

Wings is the theme of Carnival 2016. The colourful event on 15 October was a huge success.
St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

The skies light up with the most spectacular and bizarre of weather phenomenon (leaving out snowfall) – thunder and lightning!  The first in possibly 35 years.

Plantation House opens to the public for tours.

The much anticipated colourful Carnival, a biennial event attracts hundreds to the streets of Jamestown.  The event is held to raise funds for the Cancer Awareness charity.

A Water Resource project is started by Ben Sansom designed to increase the island’s water supplies through cloud forest development at the Peaks which will improve mist and moisture capture.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review - October Clockwise from top left: A freak thunder and lightning storm off the coast of St Helena. Atlantic Star Airlines land an Avro RJ100 on St Helena to demonstrate its capability in high winds. Reservoirs run low across the island as the drought continues. A new wood facade for the Mule Yard bar.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review – October
Clockwise from top left:
A freak thunder and lightning storm off the coast of St Helena.
Atlantic Star Airlines land an Avro RJ100 on St Helena to demonstrate its capability in high winds.
Reservoirs run low across the island as the drought continues.
A new wood facade for the Mule Yard bar.

November 2016

St Helenian Cheryl and her husband, Morgan Morice, make a quick stop at St Helena after 12 years yachting around the world. Here on a photoshoot with What The Saints Did Next to go with our blog of their amazing adventures. St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

St Helenian Cheryl and her husband, Morgan Morice, make a quick stop at St Helena after 12 years yachting around the world. Here on a photoshoot with What The Saints Did Next to go with our blog of their amazing adventures.
St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

Harts football team wins Knockout competition and Rico Benjamin of Rovers wins player and top goal scorer of the season.

Luxury yacht MY Karima equipped with a helicopter spends some leisure time at St Helena.

The Bank of St Helena trials a local debit card.

Public swimming pool in Jamestown is closed because of a water leak.  Re-opening is not expected until the New Year.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review - November Clockwise from top left: Bonfire night, 5 November, in Sandy Bay. Cruise ship Artania calls at St Helena. Brazilian aviation company, Embraer, arrives on St Helena. Luxury motor yacht, Karima, at anchor off Mundens, Jamestown.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review – November
Clockwise from top left:
Bonfire night, 5 November, in Sandy Bay.
Cruise ship Artania calls at St Helena.
Brazilian aviation company, Embraer, arrives on St Helena.
Luxury motor yacht, Karima, at anchor off Mundens, Jamestown.

December 2016

Christmas season begins. Harford Primary School hold their annual nativity play in St Matthews Church, Hutts Gate. St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

Christmas season begins. Harford Primary School hold their annual nativity play in St Matthews Church, Hutts Gate.
St Helena 2016: The Year In Review

Lively debate in Legislative Council on the Same Sex Marriage Bill.  The bill was subsequently retracted to clarify the definition of ‘marriage’ and will return to the table in the New Year.

Retailers Anthony and Diana Essex open purposely built shop premises in Half Tree Hollow.

An unidentified drone flies above the Festival of Lights parade in Jamestown, defying Air Navigation regulations.  SHG issues press release to appeal for the owner to come forward.  They did – no charges were made.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review - December Clockwise from top left: Embraer E190 carries out test circuits and landings at St Helena Airport. Anthony and Di Essex's new mini-mart opens in Half Tree Hollow. RAF C-130 Hercules completes a successful visit to St Helena. Festival of Lights through Jamestown is another huge Christmas success.

St Helena 2016: The Year In Review – December
Clockwise from top left:
Embraer E190 carries out test circuits and landings at St Helena Airport.
Anthony and Di Essex’s new mini-mart opens in Half Tree Hollow.
RAF C-130 Hercules completes a successful visit to St Helena.
Festival of Lights through Jamestown is another huge Christmas success.

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