Report on the 2011 Agulhas Trip from Dawn Repetto
The visit of the Agulhas this year marked a very special one as it was her very last trip to Tristan. I have fond memories of her visits as do many others, when as children we can remember the great excitement of the helicopter arriving.
The Agulhas arrived early afternoon to weather which was not kind and passengers had to be disembarked by helicopter with very little luggage. Fortunately Tristan is well known for helping sailors in distress so for the first few days clothes were borrowed and shared and eventually three days later, luggage and medical supplies was offloaded to everyone's relief.
A visitors programme was sent out for the visit and it outlined a few activities that would be happening over the Agulhas stay. First on the agenda was a cultural trip to the 1961 Volcano on 19 th September. Only one visitor signed up for this walk but it was a very enjoyable one with some great views of the settlement. 2011 marks a very special year as it is 50 years since the volcanic eruption and the community's evacuation to the UK.
On Wednesday 21 st September a guided tour of St Mary’s school was on offer. Well-attended, Jim Kerr our Education Advisor, showed everyone around the school and told them of plans for the future. It was a chance to meet the island children and for everyone to see what the worlds remotest school looks like. Being remote comes with many challenges and I know the teachers, children and community are very grateful for the support that is given from overseas.
On Thursday 22 nd September a Craft Day was held at the Tourism Centre. Visitors had the opportunity to see how the carding and spinning of local wool was carried out and how model longboats were made for collectors items. Visitors had a go at carding and spinning and I think discovered as I did that this is not an easy task.
A reception was given by the Chief Islander Ian Lavarello on Sunday 25th September. It was a great opportunity to catch up with all who were visiting on the Agulhas. Ian gave a speech in which he thanked Dr Cornelius for his time with us as Island Doctor and to Dr Loran (an island friend) for all his help at the hospital. Being a doctor here is never an easy task, so we are extremely grateful for all those who undertakes this job.