Mail deadline / I leave this island at last

On Monday, October 9 a sign was posted in the post office saying that mail going on the next departing ship, the Edinburgh, the ship that I will be travelling on to Cape Town, needed to be in by Thursday, October 12 by 1:30 p.m. In total I have sent:

71 postcards from Tristan da Cunha;
3 birthday cards from TdC;
3 packages from TdC;
2 postcards from Cape Town, South Africa;
1 birthday card from Cape Town

for a total of 80 items through the post.

One of the recipients was to myself. I will post a scan of its stamps and cancellations when I receive it.

The date for departure is now tomorrow, with arrival in Cape Town on October 25. (I have been amending this post off-line and adding more to it in anticipation of getting an Internet connection long and stable enough to upload it.)

I have had to cancel my vacation with Mark to Australia and New Zealand. During the time that I have been on Tristan since the Agulhas left two weeks ago I have been cancelling flights and trying to work out tentative plans to meet Mark in Australia. As the Edinburgh’s pick-up date kept getting pushed later and later, my plans to meet Mark eventually meant that I had to forget about going to Australia at all and then work on meeting him later in New Zealand. The trip was still salvageable if the departure date was October 17. I found out on Sunday, October 15 that the date was postponed to Thursday. When I heard the news about this latest delay, my heart sank. I was in the Albatross Bar among friends and could only nod and smile but inside I was tearing up. My heart closed in and still does when I remember hearing that latest departure update.

I was looking forward to the original departure date of October 15. If it was then, I would only miss two days of my time in Melbourne. When the Edinburgh was delayed till October 17, I would miss Tasmania but could meet up with Mark when he returned to Melbourne. The October 19 departure date ruined everything.

Perhaps–or perhaps not–I will write about how everything went wrong. How I was foolish to schedule two vacations so close together, even with the anticipated fishing boat delays that I had allowed. How the fishing company screwed me and the seven Tristanians over in a nine-day delay getting them home from Cape Town. How I could have saved our trip to Australia and New Zealand by forgetting about Tristan and packing up and leaving for home when the departure from Cape Town was extended to its ninth delayed day. How I hope to save my relationship.

As I prepare for bed on my last night in Tristan, the Edinburgh is anchored about one kilometre offshore. There will be some backloading tomorrow morning around 6:30 and I am interested in seeing it. It shouldn’t take long. We will be leaving for Cape Town sometime in the afternoon. Once we arrive, I will start looking for a flight back to Toronto.

I have many more Tristanian travelogues that I have prepared off-line but will post them, and amend the other travelogues with photos, if I have the time when back in Cape Town. They may not get posted until I return home to Canada. My first priority when I am back on-line in Cape Town is finding a flight home.

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