Ship returns to Cape Town

2019 SA Agulhas II Voyage

Report from Cynthia Green; photos from Shirley Squibb and Sean Burns

Departure from Tristan

SA Agulhas II returned from Gough Island on Sunday 29th September, but sea conditions prevented offloading the remainder of the in-coming cargo until Wednesday 2nd October 2019. Passengers started boarding by helicopter at 3pm, offloading was complete by about 4.30pm and the ship sailed for Cape Town soon afterwards. She arrived at Cape Town on Monday 7th October 2019 after 6pm.

Photos taken on 2nd October show:
Above: People gathered to see passengers off
Below: Passengers boarding one of the afternoon helicopter flights

Passengers were:

Resident islanders: Paul, Geraldine, Chantelle & Katie Repetto, Danny Swain, Lynette & Leah-Faye Green, Edward & Rebecca Rogers, Jason Green & Natalie Swain, Herbert & Barbara Glass, Julian Repetto & Leanne Swain, Randall Repetto, Linda Green and Janice Green.

Islanders and their partners now living overseas: Shirley Willemse, Deborah Elsmore & Ian Lawrence, Megan Elsmore & Thomas Kruzek, Kimberley Green & Alex Mckew and David Glass

Others; Stan Riley, Rev. David Allan, Priscilla Brown, Dr. Bruce & Nicole Phillips, Maxime Sanders, Muhamad Sulaiman, Janine Nelson, Wilmari Nel, Dr. Gideon Rossouw, Gift Chizema, Dr. Gunther Kellermeier, Marthan Bester and Oliver Yates.

Another view of helicopter boarding withn SA Agulhas II anchored offshore behind.

A final wave as they're off!

SA Agulhas II departs for another year, leaving behind a much quieter village after the departure of so many.

If you were visiting on the Agulhas II, we'd appreciate your feedback using our Visitors' Feedback Form.

SA Agulhas II arriving at Tristan on Saturday 7th September 2019

Arrival at Tristan

SA Agulhas II arrived at Tristan da Cunha at 1400 GMT on Saturday 7th September and passengers came ashore shortly afterwards. No offloading on Sunday 8th due to bad sea conditions but offloading commenced on Monday 9th September, finishing at 18.00 GMT as the ship left for Gough Island. The remainder of the cargo will be offloaded on her return.

On board SA Agulhas II are the Head of Tristan Conservation Department Trevor Glass and former Chief Islander Ian Lavarello, who will complete the annual Gough Island inspection on behalf of the Tristan Government. The South African Government leases Gough Island from the Tristan da Cunha Government and the annual SA Agulhas II trip, with its reserved berths to and from Cape Town and Tristan da Cunha, is part of the lease contract arrangement.

As the revised population update confirms, there are presently 48 expatriates (some of them returning islanders who no longer have residency status on Tristan). This is not unusual during the three week Agulhas visit. What is most unusual is that only one resident islander is presently overseas.

Agulhas helicopter with passengers' luggage in a sling below

Photos above and below show scenes on the American Fence field as returning islanders and visitors are welcomed ashore.

Shirley adds to Cynthia's report by saying:

The SA Agulhas II arrived on Saturday afternoon to a very excited community, anxious to see family and friends once again. It was a nice day on land with a light breeze making it good conditions for the helicopter. By late afternoon all passengers were ashore followed by their luggage, it is always an emotional time with family members seeing each other again after a long period of time apart. The Agulhas also brings visitors for the three week stay, who are warmly welcomed into the homes of their island hosts.

Departure from Cape Town

SA Agulhas II began her annual Gough Island relief voyage as the ship departed as scheduled from Cape Town on Monday 2nd September at 8.30pm.

44 of the passengers aboard travelled to Tristan:

Islanders and their partners:

Jade Repetto & Vuthy Hastings, Rhyanna Swain, Janice Green, Riaan Repetto, Kelly Swain, Trevor Glass & Tristan Glass, Nora Swain, Clifton Repetto, Maria Swain, Kailey Swain, Dereck & Hilary Rogers, Janine Lavarello & Christiaan Gerber,

Returning islanders now living overseas and their partners:

Shirley Willemse, Deborah Elsmore & Ian Lawrence, Megan Elsmore & Thomas Kruzek, Kimberley Green & Alex Mckew, David Glass

Expatriate workers and their partners

Doctor Alex & Mrs. Sally Wonner, Optometrist Priscilla Brown, Ophthalmologist Dr. Bruce & Mrs. Nicole Phillips; Dental Team Chris Southwick and Heather Southwick and Stan Riley.
Teachers Richard Lockwood and Clare Ryan,
Rev. Margaret & Mr. Nicolaas Van den Berg and Rev. David Allan
CTBTO Maxime Grillandini, Maxime Sanders and Muhamad Sulaiman
Ovenstone Representative Janine Nelson
Seal conservation scientist Marthán Bester

Other visitors:

Wilmari Nel and Dr. Gideon Rossouw