It’s the end, as they say, of an era. Or at least it was meant to be. On Saturday last week, the RMS St Helena departed the South Atlantic island that gives it its name for what was supposed to be the final time. But it was forced to turn back due to a medical emergency and returned to the island—almost 1800km from the African coast and another 3200km from South America—early Monday morning. One of only four Royal Mail Ships still in service, the RMS, as it is affectionately known, will be decommissioned upon its arrival in Cape Town at the end of its valedictory voyage.
It’s almost as though the universe has been trying to keep that from happening. Indeed, between medical emergencies and the forces of nature, the end has been a long time coming.