Report of the annual vogage of the SA Agulhas II, which visited the Tristan Group between 8th September and 1st October 2015.

2015 SA Agulhas Voyage

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Latest Report of events during the 2015 Agulhas Voyage and time on Tristan for its passengers.
Updated 2nd October 2015.

MV SA Agulhas II departed Cape Town as scheduled at 8pm on Thursday 3rd September for its annual trip to Tristan da Cunha and on to Gough Island for the transfer of the teams spending a year on the island.

The Agulhas is the most popular ship to offer a passage to Tristan da Cunha and this year a record 44 passengers travelled to the island. The Ovenstone vessels MV Edinburgh and Baltic Trader can carry only 12 passengers, so a maximum of 96 people reach Tristan on their 8 voyages.

SA Agulhas II arrived at 13.45 GMT on Tuesday 8th September. Passengers were unloaded on seven helicopter flights during the afternoon.

The voyage allows visitors a month ashore and SA Agulhas II is scheduled to depart on 3rd October and arrive back in Cape Town on 8th October. The ship usually sticks to its schedule but there are no certainties in the South Atlantic!

Photos of the arrival of SA Agulhas on 8th September
from Kelly Burns

Above: The ship arriving
Below: The first helicopter flight

Incoming passengers were:
14 Islanders -
Clive Vera and Leo Glass, Robin, Dawn, Jade and Amber Repetto, Julian Repetto, Warren Glass, Brian and Peggy Rogers, Trevor, Tina and Tristan Glass.

a) 6 Islanders who now live abroad:
Shirley Willemse, Marko, Mariah, Liam and Amelia Leitner
and Frank Rogers
b) 4 Other visitors:
Andrew Finnimore, Tomasz Szefler, Trevor Reynolds and Pat Reynolds

20 Expatriate workers with partners or family

Doctors Dr. Madho Jingree and Dr. Brigid Hayden
Nurse Rachel van Heerden
Health Adviser Brian Corboy
Dentist Chris Southwick and his wife Heather
Dental Technician Bob Carse,
Optician Priscilla Brown,
Roman Catholic Priest Monsignor Michael McPartland
CTBTO's Marc Escudier with his mother Anne
New CTBTO Station Manager Hubert Launay with his CTBTO colleague Anders Elliasson
RSPB Conservation Officers Katrine Herian, Ben Dilley, Delia Davies and Andy Schofield.
Bio-medical Engineer Rhonwyn Nel
Visiting Adviser Andrew Smith
and Joyce Standing, to join Finance Officer Chris Standing.

Above: Passengers coming ashore on the American Fence field

Below: SA Agulhas II with the bow section
of MV Edinburgh behind.

Even though a record 44 passengers were given passage on SA Agulhas only four were non-islander visitors, compared to 13 in 2014. This will be a disappointment to the Tristan Tourism Department and is an inevitable consequence of the extra berths needed for expatriate workers this year.

 Harold Green returns to Gough Island
Boarding SA Agulhas II on 8th September was Tristan Conservation Officer George Swain who will carry out the annual inspection of the South African Base on behalf of the Tristan Government. Accompanying him was veteran Gough expert Harold Green, now aged 81.
Harold, together with fellow islander Ernie Repetto, joined the Gough Island Scientific Survey for their pioneering visit to Gough Island 1955/1956. It was sixty years this month that the young team aboard HMS Magpie arrived at Tristan on 30th September, where they remained until the arrival of the fishing vessel Tristania in November which then transported them to Gough. It is significant that the expedition led to the first South African Meteorological Station in May 1956 when SAS Transvaal, a forerunner of SA Agulhas II, also brought the expedition back to Cape Town via Tristan.
See 2015 Gough News page for more.
Volcano Hike on 15th September
Photos and report from Tina Glass
A hike to the 1961 volcano took place on Tuesday 15th September. The hike started at 11am from the Tourism Centre and the lovely sunny day allowed these wonderful views of some of the group on the volcano summit of the village below.
Lunch in the Tourism Centre on 16th September
Photos and report from Tina Glass
Agulhas visitors enjoyed a lunch
which included
locally made crayfish tarts and potato crisps
(shown in the photo left)
in the Tourism Centre
on Wednesday 16th September.

A Craft Day was held on Tuesday 23rd September
see the separate Craft Days Page for more photos and a report.
Tristan Open Golf Championship 2015
was held on Thursday 24th September
to give Agulhas passengers a chance to
experience the unique Hottentot Golf Course -
see the Tristan Golf Club Page for more

Peak Hike

On Friday 25th September Agulhas visitors
Trevor Reynolds and Andrew Finnimore
climbed to the top of Tristan da Cunha's mountain
- the 6760 feet high Queen Mary's Peak.

Their local guides for the day were Matthew Green,
Wayne Swain and apprentice guide Riaan Repetto.

Dawn Repetto's photo shows the group in the village
before setting off.

See also Peak Climbs page for views of the walk.

Reception in the Prince Philip Hall on 25th September
Report and photos from Tina Glass
A Reception was held on Friday 25th September
hosted by Chief Islander Ian Lavarello
and Administrator Alex Mitham

Photos show:
The crowd of Agulhas visitors,
Islanders and Expatriates
gathered in the hall

Above left: Ian and Alex addressing the guests

Right: Certificates were presented
to all those pupils who entered
the Royal Commonwealth Society Essay Competition
by Alex Mitham and Ian Lavarello.

They include Medal Winners
and the outright winner
of the Junior Competition Nathan Swain
see the 2015 School News Page for more photos
and the RCS Essay Competition Page
for more details of this wonderful achievement.

Photo shows Left to right:
Back row - Chloe Glass, teacher Poppy Lavarello,
Janice Green, Alex Mitham, Leo Glass,
Rhyanna Swain and Head Teacher Anne Green
Front row - Kaitlyn Hagan, and Medal winners
Randall Repetto, Nathan Swain and Jade Repetto.
The Reception was followed by a popular dance.

First guests to stay overnight
in the Thatched House Museum

Agulhas visitors Pat and Trevor Reynolds became the first overnight guests to stay in the Tristan Traditional Thatched House Museum on the night of 29th September 2015.

Shirley Squibb's photo shows the couple outside the house and we will shortly publish more photos and a report
of the pioneers' night out.

Departure on 1st October

SA Agulhas II loaded passengers when helicopter flights
started at at 3.30pm on Thursday 1st October.
The ship set sail for Cape Town at 18.00,
two days ahead of schedule,
as sea conditions were deteriorating.

Photos from Tina Glass, left and below
were taken on 1st October
and show outgoing passengers, islanders and expatriates
gathered on the American Fence field
and boarding the helicopter.

Departing passengers were:
Resident Islanders Sylvia and Benjamin Green, Paul Repetto, Isobel Swain, Kimberley Green,
James, Felicity and Kieran Glass, Jonathan Repetto, Caryn Green, Poppy Lavarello & Ethan Lavarello-Green, Mark, Paula and Nathan Swain, James and Teresa Green.

Visiting islanders and their families: Frank Rogers, Shirley Willemse, Marko, Mariah, Liam and Amelia Leitner

Also: Matthew Byrne, Dr. Mohammed Sulamain, Rev. Denzall Snell & Mrs. Sinyati Mollel, Chris & Heather Southwick, Bob Carse, Priscilla Brown, Monsignor Michael McPartland, Katrine Herian, Anne and Marc Escudier, Anders Elliasson, Andrew Finnimore, Tomasz Szefler, Trevor and Pat Reynolds, Andy Schofield, Andrew Smith and Rhonwyn Nel.