Yesterday I received my first ever mail from Tristan da Cunha that was not sent by myself. In a strange twist of events I actually received mail while on the island before I ever received anything from the island. My host family sent me a Christmas package, and here is the stamp and postmark:
The postmark reads 1 Dec 2013. It’s only a 50p stamp! You wouldn’t believe the Canadian shipping rates I paid to mail two packages to the island. Granted, one of the packages weighed over 6 kg, but still. Fifty pence? Talk about cheap!
The last mail shipment from Tristan was originally scheduled to leave aboard the MV Baltic Trader on 4 December, and post office staff always need a couple days to ensure that the mail is processed and sorted. Thus my host family had to ensure the package was posted by 2 December at the latest. When I was on Tristan, the S. A. Agulhas II took the mail back to Cape Town but islanders were alerted that all mail had to be at the post office two days before our 4 October departure. As it turned out, the Baltic Trader didn’t leave Tristan until 11 December. My host family sent me a Tristan magnetic bookmark, an albatross pin and a tiny model volcano. They also forwarded a card that was sent to me c/o poste restante, which unfortunately arrived after I had already left. I will send the writer a Tristan postcard.
Christmas is however not over yet. When I sent my host family an E-mail informing them that their package had arrived, they replied “Only one?”. Apparently a second package is still in the mail, and a much larger one, so I might have to go to the post office to pick it up.