Trade winds in the Roaring Forties

It seems there is no end to the westerly air flow so far. Sometimes a bit stronger, sometimes a bit more from the north. One thing is for sure we are making good progress! Better than in any trade wind I have ever sailed. Progress to where… Yesterday we altered course from 050 to 080. We got an email from Tristan Da Cunha telling us the harbour is closed for all visiting ships. This because of the Corona virus. Although we are a 100% free of Corona the Island council’s decision makes sense. An isolated community like the one on Tristan would be very vulnerable. We all regret not to see the Island but greater things are at stake.

The White Chinned Petrels that nest on Tristan’s cliffs are as close as we are going to get… 7 years ago when I pasted these latitudes with Jet, Sam, and Loes, it was impossible to land because of a big swell. We had left Santos some two weeks earlier and where looking forward to setting foot on this mysterious Island. The only thing we saw was its 2000 meter high summit sticking out above the clouds. The big sets of rollers passing on the horizon kept us at bay. We had been in contact over the MF/HF radio and the voice on the other end seemed even more disappointed as we where. I hope this time it wont be 7 years before I pass this place again!

If we would follow this track another 350nml’s we will pass within 25nml of Gough Island. It is part of the Tristan group but is uninhabited except for a small group of scientist that stay on the south side of the Island. The Island and its 3 nml zone are a world heritage side, so landing is prohibited. It was discovered in 1505 by the Portuguese navigator, Goncalo Alvarez.  The pilot book states that it is well wooded and watered. “Fish and crawfish (rock Lobster) are abundant close inshore, seals and sea birds can easily be obtained and most of them, like the fish, are very good eating” I think this dates back some time… We will see. It would be great to get a glimpse of the place. For now we plot on under reefed main and mizzen, stay sail and something resembling a jib on the bit of wood sticking out. ( I shame fully look at it every morning and secretly plan on shaping a new one, sorry)

Ass we blow down this great ocean the world is becoming more and more concerned with a new deadly virus. We are all well but wished we could do more for the people in distress.

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