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1419Re: [St.H.Fam.Hist.] Re: Carter Family

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  • Barry Burns
    Nov 1, 2011
      You are quite correct that many cruise ships cannot offload their passengers due to the sea conditions.
      The reason, as you are probably aware, is because of the necessity to transfer passengers from the ship to the 'landing steps' by a small tender. When the RMS St Helena calls at Jamestown, this is achieved by using dedicated craft crewed by seamen with local experience. They are very adept at synchronising the rise and fall of the small boat (caused by the ocean swell) with the landing steps. When they give the word, the passenger 'steps' onto the quay, often with a helping hand from the crew.
      Infirm, or those passengers who chose to do so, can use the 'air taxi', which lifts them from a tender directly onto the quay.
      Unfortunately, because of the cruise ships' conditions (concerned with safety and insurance), the local seamen and landing craft cannot be used. Instead, one of the liner's lifeboats is used, crewed from the cruise ship's company. As they will generally have no (or very little) local experience it is up to the Captain to decide if this can be done safely.
      The ocean swell does not have to be dramatic for this to occur. A rise of say 6 feet may be enough to cancel the landing. In this case, it is usual for some of the Island's traders and souvenir sellers (including the Post Office with selections of stamps) to visit the cruise liner. Although this is some compensation for the passengers, it is of course extremely disappointing for them.
      I am uncertain of the percentage of successful landings, but your figure of 2 in 5 does not sound out of place.
      Naturally, I wish you luck in your endeavours. For a really serious study of the Archives, however, I'm afraid the best option is a trip on the RMS, which allows at least several days on the island.
      I hope this does not sound too negative.
      Best wishes,
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Monday, October 31, 2011 11:25 PM
      Subject: [St.H.Fam.Hist.] Re: Carter Family


      Hi, we are researching the Carter family who were on St Helena from approximately 1935 to 1865. We are hoping to visit the island April 2012 on the P & O ship Arcadia for further research, but we are told that only 2 out of 5 ships actually manage to visit due to bad weather. Can anyone confirm this? Many thanks

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