I am in Cape Town until Tuesday and have just returned from a daylong trip to visit the vineyards around Stellenbosch, which lies 50 km east of the city. Now I am back at the hotel where I am finally able to upload photos from my three weeks in Tristan da Cunha. My original idea was to edit my travel entries by adding photos to them. That has turned out to be a daunting task as I have already spent I don’t know how long looking through two thousand pictures for one or two specific shots. I’d never get anything posted if I proceeded at that rate. I have decided instead to make it much easier by just going through my memory card chronologically, and creating new travelogue posts.
This is the start of my journey to Tristan da Cunha.
The helipad of S. A. Agulhas II, shortly before departure on 5 September:
Saying goodbye at 1:50 p.m. at the East Pier:
The crowd that had gathered was mainly friends and family of the Gough Relief team, which was the main reason for the Agulhas voyage in the first place. Every year a team of eight or nine staffs the South African meteorological station at Gough Island, where they live in isolation for thirteen months. I have gotten to know the departing Gough 59 team and the returning Gough 58 team rather well, and will be reading their blogs.
Goodbye to Cape Town and Table Mountain:
One week later, at 7:01 a.m., with hazy Tristan da Cunha in the background. The water and wind conditions were not happy, and we could not leave by helicopter until after 5 p.m.
My helicopter awaits:
Setting foot on Tristan da Cunha. Photo courtesy of Murray Crawford:
The obligatory photo op next to the sign that is officially set up only as long as visiting ships are offshore, but during my 23 days on the island the sign was sometimes set up when there was no vessel. In the background is the Base. The summit of the volcano that forms Tristan’s distinctive pyramid shape is not visible from the Settlement and can only be seen offshore or by climbing to the top of the Base, which I was able to do three weeks later when weather finally cooperated.