Ship departs Tristan for Gough Island

2019 SA Agulhas II Voyage

Report from Cynthia Green and photos from Shirley Squibb

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.

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

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.

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