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Storm damage at Calshot Harbour

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  • bobconrich
    Two articles from today s St. Helena Independent: Heavy Storms on Tristan From Tristan da Cunha, it has been reported that a bad storm last Friday night
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 26, 2010
      Two articles from today's St. Helena Independent:

      Heavy Storms on Tristan

      From Tristan da Cunha, it has been reported that a bad storm last
      Friday night resulted in damage to Calshot Harbour. Some seawall
      blocks near the Bait Station at the island end of the western
      breakwater were washed into the quay. Some dollasas were
      also deposited on the quay. There has been some damage to
      fishing vessels and the cargo raft, which might have to go back to
      Cape Town for repair. And also to Factory equipment, including
      power supplies and seawater pipes, says David Morley, the Administrator of Tristan. Repairs have been made and blocks are
      back in place. Vessels have been removed and the quay tidied up,
      so not too bad, David Morley says, but a reminder, we needed it, of
      the impact of winter weather. “On Saturday, we were getting 8 to
      10 metre swells down at Tristan”, he said.

      Eye witness report from Dr Derek Topliss on Tristan: “Particularly
      heavy storm on Friday night/Saturday morning that did quite a lot
      of damage down to the harbour â€" to the harbour wall and one of
      the barges, the raft that’s used for offloading the ships here was
      damaged and lesser damage to other fishing boats and a little shed
      down on the harbour was washed away completely. Fortunately
      most of the nine crayfish fishing boat fleet were up at the Factory at
      both sort of harbour level being repaired ahead of the start of the
      crayfish season on 1st July and were out of harm’s way or things
      could have been a lot worse. But the channel into the harbour
      hasn’t been checked yet, there may be some rocks or bollers in
      there â€" weather still pretty bad here with wind, rain and a big swell.
      The Edinburgh, the fishing vessel that plies between here and Cape
      Town due here tomorrow, it is very unlikely to be able to offload
      cargo or passengers unless the sea conditions and the weather
      improve very considerably, but they’re very used to this kind of
      thing down here.”

      Dr Derek Topliss Reports from Tristan

      Dr Derek Topliss, former Senior Medical Officer and friend of
      many on St Helena, having worked here for almost eight years,
      has returned to the South Atlantic, this time to our sister island
      of Tristan da Cunha. In an interview with Saint FM on
      Tuesday night, Dr Topliss told Mike Olsson that he was currently
      doing a second stint on Tristan as locum Doctor. He
      had completed a locum there from September to December
      last year when he covered for the substantive Doctor who
      was called away at short notice for family reasons. When a
      permanent successor for the island Doctor still hadn’t been
      identified he was asked to go back to Tristan in February of
      this year. Unfortunately, because of the uncertainty regarding
      availability of return passages, his wife Anne was not able to
      accompany him, and she’s remained at home in Somerset in

      Always pleased to talk about his children, he revealed that he
      and Anne are now proud grandparents, their daughter Jenny
      and her husband Paul have two children; their daughter Kathy
      is also married and youngest daughter Nicky is engaged to
      be married early next year. Their son Michael and his wife
      are living in Montreal, Canada.

      When asked about what he’s been up to since leaving St
      Helena four years ago, Dr Topliss told of how they’d spent
      several months in Ireland with their daughter Jenny and her

      before going off to Australia for a year where he worked in
      South Australia, mainly doing locums and rural, outback locations.
      He said they liked that very much, but it was a long way
      from everywhere. They then lived and worked in Ireland for
      about two and a half years, to be near Jenny and Paul and
      their first granddaughter, and this lasted up until the time when
      he first went to Tristan in September last year.

      Dr Topliss is due to leave Tristan in about a month’s time,
      everything, he said, being very heavily weather dependent
      with the fishing vessels and the winter weather and the deep
      South Atlantic influencing things.

      In saying hello to everybody here, he said he has felt much
      closer to St Helena being back on a South Atlantic Island. “In
      a way and I know there are certain sort of Constitutional and
      political links between the islands and with the Governor and
      the Attorney General and so on; their office extends to Ascension
      and Tristan da Cunha as well. But way beyond that I’ve
      felt a lot closer to St Helena that stimulates me to do something
      that I should have been doing a long time. You know the
      things I said about “the road to hell being paved with good
      intentions”, well, coming to Tristan means I have at least made
      contact with a lot of people and a lot of my old friends on St
      Helena, by no means all - have to put that right with the next
      post, but I have felt closer and I’ve had contacts with some
      people and that’s been very good, because, you know, I said
      when I left, I remember very clearly saying that I didn’t expect
      to find a place where I would be as happy in my work as well
      as in my life again. Careerwise, it would have been the nearly
      eight years that we spent on St Helena, would be a highlight
      for us both and nothing that’s happened since has really
      caused me to change that view and I don’t think it’s going to,
      so, yes, it is good to feel close to St Helena again.”

      Dr Topliss said that Tristan is a very interesting island too
      and that there are obviously a lot of similarities. “Sometimes
      when I walk into the homes of, particularly the older people
      here, I can just picture identical sort of light rooms and setups
      in lower down Sandy Bay or out in Blue Hill or out in
      Levelwood there and it brings back many happy memories
      and happy associations too, but of course there are big differences.
      I mean it’s a sea access only, but I think that the
      isolation is possibly even greater here and the people, I think,
      are equally warm and generous and friendly, perhaps a little
      more shy and reserved at first than St Helenian people, but
      it’s certainly awoken a lot of happy memories of St Helena in
      many respects being down here. I’ll miss this special little
      island as well.”

      It would be fantastic to come and visit again, I’d love to do
      that and Tristan, my time here having awoken a sort of, to a
      greater extent really, a bit of a travel bug in me, that we’d be
      looking for shorter assignments in different places, I’d love
      to be able to visit St Helena again and hope to be able to put
      some meat on the bones of that intention before too long.”

      At the close of the interview, Dr Topliss was given the opportunity
      to choose a song to be played for all his friends on St
      Helena and he came up with not one, but two very obvious
      selections. “It would be a close run thing”, he said, “between
      Mr Tambourine Man, but I think it would have to be Rain on
      the Roof. I never hear Rain on the Roof without thinking of
      the radio stations on the island and the very many happy
      associations that it brings back for me, you know, so let me
      be a little bit greedy, and let me go for Mr Tambourine Man
      and Rain on the Roof.”
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