Tristan da Cunha

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March 24th 2004
Published: April 24th 2006
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Tristan da Cunha

We started out from Cape Town, South Africa, at the Victoria and Alfred waterfront, which is a real working port beside luxury hotels and beautiful shops. We stayed at the Breakwater hotel which was a women's prison a hundred years ago, but has been converted into a University dorm/hotel, but some of the prison reminders remain.

We left early one morning with Table mountain in the background on the 70M fishing boat Edinburgh on the 1750 km trip to Tristan da Cunha. It was a tedious 6 days, an emotional downward spiral, with little to do but learn patience. The ship plowed through the rough South Atlantic with a constant multicomponent motion which made walking, showering, eating and sleeping an adventure.

A few days away from Cape Town the sea gulls left us, and the albatross took their place following in the wake

Our first glimpse of the island was on the 6 th morning when we were 80 miles out. The island rose out of the south Atlantic - 2010m volcanic peak, 10 km diameter

If the sea is rough, we would have to wait to unload, but it was calm so the 3 day process started immediately.

When we got ashore our legs still felt like the groung was rolling - at first it was hard to stand still.

Since there is no guest house or hotel, I was welcomed into the home of Julia, Katlin, and Karl Hagan. The original house was built shortly after the settlement was established in 1811. Julia, in addition to running the hardware store, looked after all the meals. Katlin (2 years old) supervised everything.

The island is a healthy environment. It gets 3116mm rain/year which the high winds change in to avertical rain. The sea shimmers and roars constantly - a novelty for someone who lives 1500KM from the sea. It is a paradise as well - there always seems to be a football game on TV, as the island has the BFBS (British Forces TV)

For some, the island can be considered a relaxing environment. The 250 people living there form a big extended family.
The project that I was working with brougnt 24 hour electrical power to the town, but many islanders wondered if they really needed it. 10 years ago there were 2 cars, now over 100; there is even a mini-rush hour as people leave for their cottages 4 km away at the "Patches" on Friday at 2 pm. They say that there is no divorce, no unemployment, and large projects (such as installing a new roof) call for a barn raising style of party.

The Queens birthday was a good reason for a party at the school. The men stand outside, the women talk inside, prizes are given for various things (I was looking to marry the winner of the chocolate cake competition)

After 5 weeks the Edinburgh was back to pick us up (and bring supplies and beer to the island) so it was time to go. I was told to leave my passport on the Hagen's kitchen counter because everyone knew (including the immigration department) that I was staying at Julia's.

Additional photos below
Photos: 55, Displayed: 24


The BeachThe Beach
The Beach

Black volcanic sand

25th April 2006

You took alot of beautiful pictures
5th July 2006

Rick, Looks like you had a nice, all expense paid vacation. How can I sign up for this kind of work?
5th December 2006

15th February 2007

well done
Thanks very much for the interesting story and the beautiful pictures! Greetings from Austria
8th July 2008

Greeting From St Helena
Hi Rick My Name is Fiona Rogers and i am Julia Hagan's sister.I don't know if you remember us.My husband Dave was doing a tour of duty as Police Chief on Tristan whiles you where there.We are now back on St Helena now and really enjoy looking at this site with all the lovely photo's of Home.
9th July 2008

Great photo's
Hi Rick only just heard about this page from my sister, had a look its great. I think you will remember me.
15th October 2008

My son is Richard Hagan - decendant of the Hagan's of Tristan. His father's grandfather was born on the island. I am looking for some history and links. My son's grandfather was William, he had a brother Sidney and a sister Theresa.
24th September 2009

I just read about this place for the very first time online. It is quite an amazing island. Thank you for sharing! Greetings from Los Angeles.
31st January 2010

I' m really fascinated by this island that i'm starting to feel mine after a week of reading about it. It is something bigger than the thinking. I I want to have the possibilty of sharing my feeling and my findings with people who look at TDC as the beginning of everything. Love u
4th April 2010

agent maitresse principal veolia eau epuration de l'eau NH4 NO3 ...
22nd May 2010
Edinburgh of the Seven Seas

Edimburg of the seven seas
Excelente fotografia, que me faltaba para completar mi coleccion de Tristan da cunha. Nunca habia visto a Edimburg desde este angulo.
22nd May 2010

sobre Tristan da cunha
Feliz y dichoso mirando las fotografias de esa bella isla de Tristan. Muchas gracias por todo.
26th March 2011

this is great! its so lovely to see how people do not need everything we have , such as tvs , computers or too much technology! simply lovely! great work and thumbs up for everyone on there! kind greeetings,, :) xxxxxxxxxx

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