Welcome to ~SHIPS~DORSET~ where those interested in ships, shipping, and wider maritime matters from Dorset and the surrounding region meet to share, learn & enjoy.

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EVENTS 2021/22 ~~ online & local venue  ~~ see EVENTS for details and to join.

Our 2021/22 events are "hybrid" ~ enjoy online or at our Dorset venue ~ see & hear about Astor, World Renaissance, MTS Jason, Norway, Clan MacIndoe and many more ships - brought to you by our enthusiastic speakers. 

Talks & Meetings on Ocean Liners, Cargo Ships, Ferries, Mariner's Memoirs, Paddle Steamers, Cruise Ships, Naval History, Ship Design, Maritime Memories and much more ~ enjoyed by ships & shipping enthusiasts ~ a community with common interests 

   JOIN US ... take a look at our EVENTS section!

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~SHIPS~DORSET~ Images of the Month for December 2021 ~ 1of2 ~ ~ St. Helena ~ entering Poole Harbour in November

Late November 2021 saw the return to Dorset shores of the well travelled St. Helena … thankfully ~Ships~Dorset~ group member Kev Mitchell was there to capture the moment. 

Extreme E claims to be a radical new racing series. Electric SUVs compete in “extreme" locations around the world impacted by climate change and environmental damage. Extreme E’s global odyssey is made possible by its floating centrepiece and base, the St. Helena. She is used to transport the championship’s freight and infrastructure, including vehicles, to the port nearest each of its five race venues and facilitates scientific research through an on-board laboratory. The ship has travelled over 19,000 nautical miles this year including visits to Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Greenland and Sardinia. Since departing the UK for the first ever Extreme E race just over nine months ago, the St. Helena has returned for the final event of its inaugural season – the Jurassic X-Prix – which takes place in Dorset on 18th – 19th December 2021.

St. Helena - Key Dimensions: L= 105m … B= 19m … GRT= 6,767 … Speed= 15knots … Passengers= 155 … Crew= 56 ... in service 1990

~SHIPS~DORSET~ Images of the Month for December 2021 ~ 2of2 ~ ~ St. Helena ~ entering Poole Harbour in November

Your ~Ships~Dorset~ webmaster / editor spent time working for Union Castle Line and was able to experience being part of a bridge team transhipping cargo via lighters and passengers via port tender at St. Helena whilst hove-to off the island in the nineteen seventies. When that company withdrew from the Southampton/South Africa mail-ship run in 1977 the UK Government needed to service the island of St. Helena. At first a small, converted, 1963 built passenger/cargo ship was purchased and renamed for the task. As the nineteen eighties unfolded it became clear that a more substantial purpose built ship was required for a distant island with no harbour where ships have to anchor off Jamestown when plying their trade.

St. Helena was built by A&P Appledore at their Hall,Russell & Co. shipyard in Aberdeen … launched in 1989. The ship primarily operated from Cape Town to St. Helena & Ascension Islands … usually extending via Tenerife or Vigo to Portland, Dorset twice per year. Following her maiden voyage in 1990, she continued servicing the islands until 2018 when the new St. Helena airport was opened. The ship spent a brief period focussed towards anti-piracy / security work ... owned and operated by companies based in Wimborne, Dorset! However, by the end of 2018 her new career was confirmed with Extreme E as a floating HQ for their international racing programme. 

To view previous "Images of the Month" click our Image Archive link ...