Captain of one of the last working royal mail ships in the world is an impressive title. With the RMS St Helena set to depart for the last time in February 2018, we decided to get to know her newest Captain, Adam Williams.
Adam started his career on the RMS St Helena as a Cadet at the age of 16, leaving St Helena in December 1997 to begin college in South Tyneside in the UK in January 1998. During his cadetship, Adam served mainly on the RMS St Helena but was also seconded to other vessels, including a four month stint on the Queen Elizabeth 2. Adam qualified as Officer of the Watch in 2001 joining the RMS in August that year as a 3rd Officer. Working his way up the ranks, he was promoted to Master in January 2017.
Where’s your favourite spot on St Helena?
My favourite spot, among many, has to be sitting on the grass at Green Hill, looking across at Sandy Bay Ridges; especially when the sun on the flax covered hills is just right, with a little fog creeping up the valley.
What’s your favourite food on St Helena?
There’s many, but for comfort it has to be crispy yam and soft fried eggs!
What do you love most about being a Saint?
That’s also difficult as there are so many things to be thankful about being a Saint…It makes for a good topic of conversation when people ask where I am from.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
While we all go through phases, I discovered running a few years ago. While I am, as Saint’s say “Big Boned” and nowhere near professional, I do enjoy getting a few km’s in as a general hobby.
You went to college in the UK, what did you enjoy most about your time there?
Like any student, the night life occupied a lot of my time, thankfully I think I’ve outgrown the colourful life now!
Captain Adam Williams meeting the Princess Royal in London, June 2016
What are you going to miss most about working on the RMS St Helena?
RMS St Helena is unique. I really don’t believe there is any other ship like her. It is a one in a million experience and she has a character all of her own. After 20 years, it will be hard not to miss her as it’s been a major part of my life, post school years until now, so I suppose it’s impossible to narrow it down to one thing.
Do you have any plans for what comes next?
No not really, will face that when it comes.