Reports of vessels visiting Tristan da Cunha, and voyages to and from the island during 2009.

Nelson Bosun Given Star Treatment
An unexpected final ship of 2009 visited Tristan da Cunha on 31st December when freighter Nelson Star sailing from Durban to South America diverted several hundred miles to bring her Bosun to Tristan for medical treatment.  The Bosun was landed at first light and admitted to Camogli Hospital for treatment to a hand injury.  An hour or two later he was put back aboard the Nelson Star, which had anchored offshore to await his return, and the ship resumed its journey.
Photograph left of the Nelson Star off Tristan from Administrator David Morley
Apologies to our regular visitors for the late posting of this story .

Summer Shipping Lull
MV Baltic Trader completed the last scheduled trip of 2009, arriving on Friday 4th and returning for Cape Town on Wednesday 8th December. MV Edinburgh remain in Tristan waters, fishing around the outer islands of Gough, Nightingale and Inaccessible before its scheduled return to Cape Town on 11th February.
It will be MV Edinburgh's return, scheduled to arrive at Tristan on 7th March which will bring the next incoming mail and supplies to the world's most remote inhabited island.

Three Wise Men arrive early at Tristan da Cunha

Jeremy Peychaud sent this picture taken on 6th December showing the Baltic Trader at anchor and closer to shore a yacht which arrived from Cape Verde Islands overnight with 3 Russian people on board seeking supplies of diesel, water and food.

Christmas Mail and Goods Awaited - Last Post for Tristan da Cunha imminent
After MV Edinburgh's departure on 4th November, with the first crawfish of the 2009/10 season destined for world markets from the new factory, Tristan Islanders will eagerly await the arrival of the two remaining scheduled ships from Cape Town, bringing post and fresh goods as well as passengers and other cargo. MV Edinburgh returns for the second extended fishing trip, planned to depart from Cape Town on 21st November and arrive a week later. The ship then proceeds to fish around the outer islands (Gough, Inaccessible and Nightingale) until returning in February 2010, so spending Christmas and New Year at sea.
The cargo ship MV Baltic trader is scheduled to leave with the last post before Christmas on 26th November, arriving Tristan on 3rd December, but slippage on the ship's last voyage may delay arrival of the all-important last post. Nevertheless it's time to get Tristan Christmas post in mail boxes now, even though the UK Royal Mail services seem to be getting back to normal.
So allowing a week to reach Cape Town, the last posting date to ensure Tristan delivery for Christmas will be 19th November.

Tristan Fleet at Anchor

Tristan da Cunha's three regularly scheduled ships were all at anchor off the Settlement on 7th October (left)

(Photographs from David Morley)

Cargo ship MV Baltic Trader (pictured right above) has now replaced the fishing / cargo vessel MV Kelso
as the second Ovenstone vessel operating with MV Edinburgh which makes two annual extended fishing trips
to the Tristan da Cunha islands. Baltic Trader was first used by Ovenstone to transport materials
for the new factory and for harbour repairs in 2008.
MV Baltic Trader returned to Cape Town from Tristan on 16th October.

Arrivals and Departures
MV Baltic Trader arrived from Cape Town after an unpleasant trip on Sunday 4th October. Aboard were Administrator David Morley and his wife Jacki to begin the last year of their South Atlantic sojourn. SA Agulhas left Tristan on Wednesday 7th October, with many returning visitors who had enjoyed almost four weeks ashore and also Tristan's Chief Islander,Conrad Glass with his wife Sharon en route to England. Conrad will embark on further police training with the Bedfordshire force, and also attend the annual Overseas Territories Consultative Conference in London 17th-19th October.

Agulhas Arrives
SA Agulhas arrived on Thursday 10th September from Cape Town to herald the start of Spring on Tristan da Cunha as the community hosts 28 visitors and returning medevacs. Passengers were brought ashore by helicopter during the morning. SA Agulhas will continue to Gough Island for the annual change of meteorological station crew and servicing.
The annual Gough Island inspection will be carried out by the Tristan Conservation Department as Gough is leased by the South African Government in a scheme which also provides the valuable use of SA Agulhas to transport passengers and freight to and from Tristan da Cunha. As the vessel carries over 30 passengers to Tristan, and offers a return trip including up to four weeks ashore, it is very popular with visitors compared to the slower fishing vessels which carry a maximum of 12 passengers. This year SA Agulhas is scheduled to depart from Tristan on 7th October, giving up to 27 days ashore (the departure date is provisional).
Amongst the passengers are Jim Kerr and his wife Sue. Jim is taking up a new role of Education Adviser and was the last ex-pat Education Officer, serving from 1985 - 1992. Also Tristan welcomes Mgr. Michael MacPartland from the Falkland Islands who makes his annual journey to visit the Tristan Roman Catholic community. Dental technician Bob Carse joins dentist Aileen Logie, who arrived earlier aboard MV Edinburgh to complete the dental team on their annual Tristan visit.

Comings and Goings
MV Edinburgh departed Cape Town late evening on Thursday 20th August and arrived at Tristan on Thursday 27th at 5pm, exactly as scheduled. Passengers and post were landed the same evening, but conditions were too dangerous for cargo offloading so the ship sought the islands' lee.
Amongst the incoming passengers were dentist
Aileen Logie, who is here until the departure of the Agulhas, and Henning Myburgh and his wife Lynda.  Henning is here on a one-year contract to carry out the duties as Head of Public Works Department.
MV Edinburgh will head to the outer islands of Gough, Inaccessible and Nightingale for an extended fishing trip around the outer islands, with ETD from Tristan for the return voyage on 5th November and arrival back in Cape Town on 12th November.
The annual SA Agulhas voyage is due to depart from Cape Town on 3rd September with its usual influx of visitors who can enjoy a 3-4 week stay ashore as the vessel continues to Gough for the meteorological station's change-over.

Titanic returns to Atlantic waters - breaks the ice at Georgetown - and remains afloat!

Story edited from emails and especially from www.saint fm:

We learn MV Kelso was sold by the fishing company Ovenstones to a Californian resident in July. He intends to convert her into a private 'motor yacht' and has re-named the vessel MY TITANIC!
The ship arrived at St Helena on 16th August and is reported to have caused some concern amongst island officials as, though the ship called itself Motor Yacht Titanic, when the police( led by St Helena's Chief of Police, Royce Hipgrave) inspected it from the wharf, there was no ship name visible. Checks found no vessel registered as MY Titanic on systems, so great caution was used in eventually establishing that the vessel was bona fide.
Later senior officers of the MY Titanic visited Saint FM and clarified that the MY Titanic is the former Kelso, had been sold to an American and is on its way to St Kitts, but as the name Kelso was retained by Ovenstones Company it has to be renamed and re-registered thereby the confusion.  Master Donald McLoughlin reported that the Titanic is en route to Granada in the Caribbean to undergo a three or four year refit into a private vessel. Owner Mr Bill Schlagel  explained he had picked the Kelso as his new yacht as it was good value and had 'superb engine plant'. Bill intends to spend $10 million converting the vessel.

So the vessel and its crew made new St Helena friends before departing on Monday 17th August, successfully breaking the ice caused by its unusual arrival and hopefully it will avoid the infamous icy fate of the original White Star Line ship RMS Titanic in April 1912.

Winter Shipping Update
MV Edinburgh arrived safely in Cape Town on Saturday 25th July. The ship is scheduled to depart Cape Town on 20th August, ETA Tristan 27th August, for the first of two extended fishing trips around the outer islands, with ETD from Tristan for the return voyage on 5th November and arrival back in Cape Town on 12th November.
The next scheduled Tristan - Cape Town ship is not until the return Baltic Trader voyage ETD Tristan 4th October, scheduled to arrive in South Africa on 11th October with the next out-going mail.
A full check on ship's schedules can be made on our Shipping Page, and for updates on the 2009/10 fishing season, now underway using the new factory for processing see the Fishing News page.
MV Edinburgh July Trip News
The Edinburgh arrived at Tristan from Cape Town on 2nd July.  Passengers came ashore the same day but unloading didn't begin until 8th July because of rough seas.  Offloading was completed on 9th July and she departed Tristan on 19th July, taking with her the remaining 19 contractors who were working on the factory.  Also on board were David & Jacki Morley (on mid-tour leave), Leo Genin the CTBTO Station Manager who had completed his work here, Ingrid Van der Merwe (Dr. Carel's wife) plus 8 Islanders (6 medevacs and two carers).
2009/10 Shipping Schedule announced - MV Kelso to be replaced
Ovenstones have published their provisional schedule for the 2009/10 season. The company provides nine return trips from Cape Town to Tristan da Cunha each year as part of the fisheries contract. Two of these trips are extended fishing trips made by MV Edinburgh (20 August - 12 November and 21st November - 18th February) during which the outer island quotas from Gough, Inaccessible and Nightingale Islands are caught. The other seven trips are return cargo journeys. All vessels carry up to 12 passengers.
Ovenstones have announced the sale of MV Kelso recently, and we await news of its replacement, which is scheduled to leave Cape Town for its first trip of the season on 23rd September.
The 10th scheduled voyage is the annual SA Agulhas trip, scheduled this year to leave Cape Town on 3rd September. This popular ship carries over 30 passengers and allows passengers 3-4 weeks stay on Tristan as the vessel continues to Gough Island for the station change-over and research work at sea. The full schedule can be viewed on the Shipping Schedule and Fares Page.
To plan a visit to Tristan da Cunha see our comprehensive Visits Section.
MV Edinburgh heads for Cape Town
MV Edinburgh loaded passengers on Tuesday 12th May and headed for Cape Town over a week later than planned due to poor weather for offloading. See also Shipping Schedule and Fares Page
MV Edinburgh arrives in a gale
MV Edinburgh arrived at Tristan as planned on Friday 1st May, but was forced to seek the island's lee until Sunday 3rd May, when passengers were unloaded, in far from perfect conditions. Unloading freight (and mail) was still impossible on Monday 4th May, and the island community will have to wait for later in the week to offload valuable supplies and post.

Robin Repetto's photographs
taken on 1st May show the
newly strengthened harbour
taking a battering during the storm
which greeted the arrival
of MV Edinburgh

MV Edinburgh pictured
by Robin on Sunday 3rd May
with conditions that allowed
passengers to be offloaded
but too swelly to unload
cargo in safety.

We await news of the unloading
of MV Edinburgh
and of the ship's ETD
for Cape Town

Shipping Update - 28th April 2009

The cruise ship season has now finished (see Cruise News Page). MB Baltic Trader is due to return to Cape Town in early May and the MV Edinburgh is due to arrive on 1st May, returning about a week later. MV Edinburgh's departure heralds the start of the quieter winter season, but we are awaiting dates for what may be a final MV Baltic trader trip (the ship will retain part of an aggregate cargo destined for Tristan building projects to act as ballast), and schedules for MV Edinburgh and Kelso after the Edinburgh's scheduled trip ETD Cape Town 25th June ETA Cape Town 13th July. With the new factory due to be operational for the start of the 2009/10 fishing season in July, schedules are likely to return to the 'normal' pattern once further use of the Baltic Trader has been clarified.
Latest Shipping News from David Morley
MV Baltic Trader returned to Cape Town on 18th March and is planned to turn around and leave for Tristan again on 30th March.
Two cruise liners had very different experiences on 15th March when MV Corinthian managed to land passengers even though the harbour was closed due to bad weather, whilst three days later, in perfect weather, MV Minerva had no time for landing!
See photos and report on our Cruise News Page.

Sunday 1st March

saw a flurry of activity as MV Baltic Trader
arrived in perfect weather and proceeded to unload.

Left ~ David Morley's photograph shows Baltic Trader & Kelso at anchor,

Left ~ Robin Repetto's picture shows a barge being unloaded in the harbour -

see also

Factory Re-building Page

for shots of the new generator's arrival and the

Farming News Page

for a shot of new livestock arrivals

Cruise ship season in full swing

MS Explorer arrived on Monday 2nd March for a successful two day visit.
this photograph from Robin Repetto shows the ship at anchor with vessels carrying passengers for a Tristan tour heading for the harbour

For other images of MS Explorer's visit to
Tristan, Nightingale and Inaccessible,
and also other cruise ship visits -
visit the Cruise Ship Page to find out more.

MV Kelso arrives
MV Kelso arrived on the morning of Thursday 26th February, having made good time from Cape Town. As well as the cargo and passengers described below, the ship brought 150 February Tristan da Cunha Newsletters which are distributed to all island families and available for purchase to visitors. The Kelso is expected to return to Cape Town on Sunday 1st March at 10.00.
So the Tristan harbour will be busy as MV Baltic Trader is expected to arrive at first light also early on Sunday 1st March, and the cruise ship MV Explorer is due to call at 0800 on Monday 2nd March.

As David Morley remarked, its a bit like London buses, wait for ages for one to turn up, then you get three at once!

Cape Departures

MV Kelso left Cape Town on Friday 20th February filled with contractors for the harbour rehabilitation project and with a full load of cargo, including 5 vehicles on the powerboat deck! MV Baltic Trader's departure was delayed until Sunday 22nd February with a full load of cargo for the harbour and factory projects.


Pictures from Coenie Koch
show ~

Top right : MV Baltic Trader
departing from Cape Town
Left and Right:
Views from Baltic Trader
as she left Cape Town on
22nd February.


Left and Right :
Dockside activity on 20th February
as Baltic Trader is loaded.

MV Baltic Trader's departure has been delayed by tests in Cape Town harbour in transporting the heavy dolloses (see below) by barge to replicate the forthcoming operation on Tristan on the open ocean!

MV Baltic Trader Update

from Andrew James (Ovenstones)

The Baltic Trader should depart on
18th February with a cargo of Dollose,
plant and material for the Harbour project, as well as more equipment
for the factory, including the new generator sets.

Photographs from Andrew show the re-constructed Dollose being loaded into the hold.
Previously Dollose have been constructed on the island,
and placed interlocking to provide a crucial breakwater off the harbour arms.

Shipping Schedule Update
Mv Baltic Trader trips have been re-timed since the vessel returned from its first round trip to Tristan. The full schedule can be viewed on our Shipping Page which also lists current fares.
Potential passengers should note that during factory rebuilding works priority for berths is for contractors and their staff. So even those holding provisional reservations must check with the Tristan Administration before travelling to Cape Town.

Ship Visits

RFA Black Rover arrived for a Tristan visit on Friday 9th January and was then joined at the island anchorage by the yacht "Abal Tasman" (en route from South Georgia to St Helena) with four dutchmen on board. 

Photo left from David Morley shows the two ships at anchor on Monday 12th January 2009.

Baltic Trader completes first round trip to Tristan da Cunha

MV Baltic Trader departed Tristan on Sunday 4th January after unloading the last of its cargo of supplies for the factory rebuilding and new crane.

The photograph left, from Coenie Coch (whose son was one of the team of contractors aboard the vessel) was taken as the Baltic Trader arrived in Cape Town harbour on Sunday 11th January.