This has been a looooong group of sea days since leaving South Georgia. Four days to get to Tristan Da Cunha, 1 day there and 5 days to Cape Town for which there are still 2 more sea days. We arrive about 6:00 am on Tuesday and have been told, for the first time, we can leave the ship on our own and go exploring if we like.
As for Tristan Da Cunha, this is the most remote inhabited island in the world. The closest place is Cape Town which is 5 days away. There are 243 people living on Tristan Da Cunha many of which have lived here most of their life. As I had mentioned previously, we were not allowed to go ashore on the inhabited island because they have had no covid cases at all. Even though we are covid fee on the ship, they didn’t want to take the chance.
Our first stop was Nightingale Island which is part of the island group. We did a zodiac tour of the island and saw more penguins and sea lions, I’ll spare you more photos as we’re all ready to see new life forms. The interesting thing about this island is in the early 1960’s, St Helena, which is the active volcano on Tristan erupted and the lava flow came close to the village, so they evacuated to Nightingale until ships could come from England to take that there.
We were the first cruise ship to even come by in 2 years, so when we pulled in to their harbor, most of the town came down to the docks to wave and the kids came out of their school and ran down the hill waving. I think they would like to have seen and talked to us as much as we would have them. They raise their own produce on the island, have some livestock, do commercial fishing and have solar electricity to supplement generators. Supply ships bring fuel and other supplies and then buy the lobsters to take home.
What happens on sea days you ask. The crew does some type of training exercise about once a week. This may be simulated fires, spills, etc. During that time, they remotely close all the fire doors and if you’re lucky, you’re locked in a restaurant or bar for 30 minutes while they practice. Basically they have their own fire department and hazmat teams on the ship. This week, they were showing some of the crew how to use various life saving devices and how deploy a raft. For this, they blocked off the pool for the demos and then deployed one of the rafts in the pool.
Next stop will be Tuesday in Cape Town for 3 days. One of those days will be another “world cruise” event of an evening of food, wine and music at an exclusive venue in an old quarry.
2 thoughts on “Tristan Da Cunha”
Great post! Thanks so much for sharing. It has really helped me feel involved since we’ve been stuck at home until now. If Covid negative today we will fly out tomorrow morning and see you in Cape Town. Enjoy your relaxing sea days. Cape Town is definitely worth the wait. See you soon.
Happy birthday to my kid brother