Reports of vessels visiting Tristan da Cunha, and voyages to and from the island.

Edinburgh March-April 2021 Voyage

Report from Cynthia Green

MFV Edinburgh photographed in 2020 by Robin Repetto

MFV Edinburgh photographed in 2020 by Robin Repetto

Arrival at Tristan

The MFV Edinburgh arrived at Tristan at 11:00pm on Wednesday 31st March 2021. Passengers came ashore just after 9:00am on the 1st April, and offloading commenced immediately.

Passengers on board were: Islanders: Mark & Paula Swain, Sandra & Deanna Rogers; New Doctor Silvio Morales and Nursing Officer Christine van Veggelen.

Departure from Cape Town

The MFV Edinburgh departed Cape Town on the evening of Wednesday 24th March 2021 and was expected to arrive at Tristan on Wednesday 31st March or Thursday 1st April.

SV Urchin Returns from Gough Island

Compiled from reports by Stuart Kirk, the RSPB and Cynthia Green

Research Around Gough Island

The expedition yacht SV Urchin arrived at Gough Island on Sunday 21st March 2021 with the three Tristanians involved in the Gough Restoration Programme. The Urchin remained at Gough for a few days to take Chief Islander James Glass to various areas around the island so that he could trawl for plankton samples and perform other fascinating, and necessary research. The yacht anchored where and when James required and the crew overnighted at different spots. As the screen grab from the Urchin's tracking map shows, they went to pretty much every little nook and cranny around the island, each of which according to captain Kirk was more indescribably astonishing in beauty than the previous.

PredictWind Tracker map for the Urchin as she helped with marine surveys around Gough Island

PredictWind Tracker map for the Urchin as she helped with marine surveys around Gough Island

Heading off to the yacht from Gough to do marine surveys

Heading off to the yacht from Gough to do marine surveys

Departing Gough Island for Cape Town via Tristan

The Urchin left Gough on Thursday 25th March for Cape Town via Tristan, carrying two passengers. She experienced problems with her main engine, which while not vital for the voyage, would be needed for manoeuvring in Cape Town harbour. However, on arrival at Tristan on Saturday 27th March, two of the island's engineers went aboard and managed to get the engine working again.

SV Urchin off Tristan on Saturday 27th March - Photo Emil Pirzenthal

SV Urchin off Tristan on Saturday 27th March 2021 - Photo Emil Pirzenthal

Island passenger Jody Squibb embarked at Tristan, and the Urchin departed for Cape Town later the same day. As well as picking up more diesel, the crew also received from the islanders fresh eggs, cucumber, tomatoes, veggies, pastries, cakes, flapjacks and tons more! Living the life of Riley. Patrick Knobel of the yacht's shore crew says, yachties usually return from their voyages noticeably thinner than when they left. He thinks the opposite might be true for this trip! They cannot thank the wonderful Tristanians enough for their kindness and generosity.

There are more photos and information available on the Urchin Sailing Expeditions' Facebook Blog.

Gough Island Restoration programme

Gough Restoration Team (so far) with thir banner

Gough Restoration Team (so far) with their banner

The safe delivery of the Tristanian team members means that the programme has now successfully navigated all COVID-related hurdles for three of the four voyages to Gough Island which are needed before the mouse eradication operation can proceed. The team on Gough is getting on with on-island preparations, while people on the mainland get ready for the forthcoming main voyage, which carry more cargo and passengers than the other three put together. Whilst no one can ever guarantee eradication success, if we can get this next voyage away, we stand the best chance yet of completing the operation. We’re on track to get all that we need to sorted in time – the real question is what course the COVID-19 pandemic will take over the next few weeks and whether it will throw any insurmountable spanners our way.


St Mary's School children with chocolates given by the Urchin's crew. Photo:

St Mary's School children with chocolates given by the Urchin's crew. Photo: Emil Pirzenthal

During its outward call at Tristan, the Urchin brought bags of chocolates for all the students at St Mary's School, which, as the picture shows, they were very happy to receive. Felicity Glass sends a massive thank you to skipper Stuart Kirk on behalf of the children.

Yacht SV Urchin Calls at Tristan on the Way to Gough Island

The yacht SV Urchin stopped at Tristan on the 19th March 2021 to pick up islanders for the Gough Restoration Programme.
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Second Restoration Team Sails to Gough Island

The yacht Pelagic Australis has delivered second Gough Restoration Programme team from Cape Town to Gough Island.
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First MFV Edinburgh Fishing Voyage of 2021

The MFV Edinburgh arrived back in Cape Town on 14th March 2021.
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Gough Restoration Programme 2021 Start

The postponed restoration programme has resumed in 2021 with the first team members arriving at Gough Island.
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Baltic Trader returns to Tristan service

The Baltic Trader departed Tristan for Cape Town on 26th January 2021
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Last Vendée Globe 2020 Yachts pass Tristan

The last group of yachts passed Tristan on the 6th December, a few days after one of the leading yachts sank.
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Tristan da Cunha Shipping Schedules

Schedules and fares for the few ships that regularly travel between Cape Town and Tristan da Cunha.
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