Tristan da Cunha is nature’s clothes dryer. The wind on the island was brutal; I would often have to bend forward as I walked. Compared to where I come from in southern Ontario, the sound the wind makes on Tristan would be cause for alarm. I would be sitting indoors listening to the cacophonous racket and thinking to myself this doesn’t sound too good. The strength of the wind means that no trees grow on Tristan, and flowers are a rarity unless they’re sheltered. I met some Tristanians who proudly showed off their flower beds. It rained almost every day on Tristan, yet only for brief spells. I don’t even think people take in their clothes when it only rains for a few minutes at a time. The rain in combination with the brutal winds made umbrellas totally useless. I was advised to leave mine at home, and I didn’t see a single umbrella the whole time I was on the island. When it comes to the ferocious winds of the south Atlantic, Tristan da Cunha is simply in the way.
I photographed almost every vehicle I saw on Tristan, whether it was a car, a motorcycle or a utility vehicle. There were quite a lot of cars for such a small island with an even smaller network of roads. Note the hand-crafted licence plate. The wall of the yard in the background is made out of volcanic stone, as this is plentiful on the island. The eruption of the volcano in 1961 spewed lava perilously close to the settlement, which fortunately provided an easily-accessible building material.
Inaccessible Island, located 40 km to the southwest.
The following photos are of the Patches, the area where the Tristanians grow their potatoes and other vegetables, located about 3 km south of the settlement:
I joined my host family, Shaun and Renée Green, along with two of their children, Janice and Dylan, to plant potatoes in one of their plots.
Sometimes the mist was so low I felt that I could jump up and touch it.
These cliffs are higher than you think. South of the Patches, headed toward the Bluff.