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Tristan da Cunha

Tristan Da Cunha

The Most remote Inhabited Island in the World

sunny 15 °C
View The Three A´s on Taffski's travel map.

We arrived in Tristan and sailed up to the island.

It's basically like a big volcano in the sea and juts up from the sea bed in literally the middle of the ocean.

We'd been scheduled to spend 3 days on the island, however, we'd arrived on the Easter weekend and (depending on who you spoke to) either the port was too rough to allow us to land, or (as most of us suspected) since it was the Easter Weekend... and the Tristonians are very religious people... they weren't too enamored with having to curtail some of the residents festivities during this festival by having to open shops etc. ready for our arrival.

We never did find out, however, having spent two days anchored on the North of the Island (where we spent the days fishing and we caught some massive fish!) we were finally given the all clear to land on the island on our third (and luckily) last day.

We all were excited as there were rumors of a pub/ shop / Internet / Phones and all other civilized things we'd not had access to for the previous 39 days!

We landed in the harbor on the Zodiac (which consisted of a single break water barrier and that was all) The Ship couldn't dock and the only way onto the island is by small boats (There's no airport or any other way of getting on apart from a Helicopter or a Boat)

Our first impressions were good. The guys in the Harbour seemed friendly and we made our way up the hillside towards our first stop.... the Pub !!! It was open too !!!! Whayhaeeeeee!!

We grabbed a quick drink each and then we decided best not to get pissed on shore and maybe explore a bit.

It had already been arranged that myself together with 3 of the crew and 2 guests would be playing golf in the afternoon anyway....hmm......

Yep... They Have a Golf course... well sort of ....

It's basically a field that they'd cleared of cows and had placed three golfing holes (well a colored stone and a stick) for which you had to aim.

one of the holes ran through the Grave yard... so when one of the crew hit their ball directly into the graveyard... we decided it might be best to leave the ball where it was :)

Steph was off exploring by this point anyway and visited the site of the last Eruption (This was in 1961 and they had had to evacuate all the inhabitants to the UK... since it's a UK colony) Anyway, they'd all hated the UK and had decided to come back to the island to live.

We were beginning to understand why....

we spent the rest of the day traveling around and meeting the locals. They were lovely friendly people and outside the pub I spent half an hour playing football with the local kids...

Apparently next time there's going to be a football competition as none of the locals really like golf or the golf course (I can understand that one!)

We bought some Baked Beans and Mars Bars in the Supermarket, sent postcards from the post office, made a quick phone call home to the UK (costing us 2 pence a minute...eh ????) and then unfortunately our days traveling had quickly come to and end, so after a final beer in the pub we said goodbye and left to catch the last Zodiac back to the boat....

Which we caught.. else we'd have been left there for roughly a year :)

Funnily enough we thought long and hard about the prospect of spending a year on the place and to be honest... we both loved the place and the people and would have loved to stay there for longer!

Although I wouldn't want to live there forever I don't think.

We set sail later in the evening and as the sun set the Full Volcanic prowess of the island jutting from the ocean was all to apparent and was a beautiful farewell from a beautiful and remote part of the world that once again, very few people had had the privilege to both visit and see.

Thank you Tristan.

PS I won the golf Tournament by the way ;)

Posted by Taffski 06:05 Archived in Tristan da Cunha Tagged boating Comments (0)

Journey to Tristan Da Cunha

10 days sailing and a Force 9 Storm !!!

storm 5 °C
View The Three A´s on Taffski's travel map.

Overnight and sea and winds had calmed down and we set sail for Tristan following a Roughly Northerly direction to get away from any remaining Icebergs and then easterly towards the islands.

it's some 1400 Nautical miles and we hoped to make it in 10 days or so.... 140 Nm a day.... an average of 6ish knots an hour....

The watches were changed slightly and having been out for a cigarette I was unfortunately named Watch lead for our watch (Blue Watch) We'd been joined by a few new faces also so it would be nice to speak to some other people whilst on watch we thought.

The Next 10 days were eventful and yet boring... if you can have such a thing.

We sailed a lot.
We saw Whales and Dolphins.
Some of us saw a Moon Rainbow (This is like a Rainbow but generated by the Moons Beams of light rather than the suns... absolutely amazing!)
We saw many...many birds and notably Albatross so I couldn't fish from the ship!
We had to entertain ourselves... we decorated eggs for Easter, had some practical jokes played on us by the crew and vice versa for April Fools Day, watched DVD's, gave lectures and the beard growing competition was going strong!
It was rough....
It was windy...

On day 31....

4 days out from South Georgia...

the storm hit !!!

It was a force 9 storm and had been steadily building up the previous 12 hours or so.

We only had 2 lookouts as we were luckily out of iceberg territory (having headed North from South Georgia!) and these lookouts were at the back of the ship.... we were still steering though and had to go on deck through the wheel house at the back of the ship. Harnesses were permanently on and as the ship rolled in the 6 meter swell we were all briefed for what was ahead of us by the captain.

We started our evening watch that night at 8pm and in the next 4 hours the main bulk of the storm was to catch up with us and last for 4 hours after which it would hopefully die away as it passed over us... this was the theory anyway!

As the wind increased steadily... we began to furl sails and in a force 9 gale this wasn't the easiest thing in the world.... 60 feet high up in the air hanging onto the yards whilst being thrown about in 10 to 12 meter (30 to 40 feet!) rollers whilst 100 kph winds whip around your ears (which are still quite sold incidentally) with the thought of falling and being lost at sea firmly lodged in your head...... Fun isn't the word !!!

I helped furl a few of the sails and with waves breaking over the deck regularly... Steph and I finished our watch soaked and thoroughly exhausted... we didn't sleep though.. The watch was handed over at 12am and we lay in our beds and listened to the storm above decks....

We were woken up for our morning shift at 8 and the seas had begun to drop... the rollers were more regular and less violent and the wind had dropped! It was great sailing weather and the sails slowly came back up and the winds dropped!

We'd survived a force 9 storm in the middle of the Southern Atlantic (Perhaps the roughest sea in the world) and to be honest... it hadn't been that bad after all!

Tristan Da Cunha came into view on day 11 (the 7th of April)

We'd been at sea for the past 10 days and had experienced some rough seas... but we'd come through and with the help of the ship and the crew managed to sail to our destination with no injuries and some good stories!

Posted by Taffski 05:38 Archived in Tristan da Cunha Tagged boating Comments (0)

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