Reports of vessels visiting Tristan da Cunha, and voyages to and from the island in 2015.

Isolated South Atlantic waters.....think again

Image and report from Andy Repetto, Head of Tristan's Communications Department

Tristan Government Offices may be officially closed until Monday 11th January, but as often happens, Head of Communications Andy Repetto was at his desk and discovered, via his ship tracker link, that no less than 25 ships were passing in nearby waters on 27th December 2015. The image above shows the positions of 20 vessels at 07.06 GMT on 28th December 2015, 16 of them named on the image, and all within 500kms of Tristan. Nevertheless there was no contact with any of the vessels.

Visit of 'Gulden Leeuw'

The Dutch three-masted topsail schooner 'Gulden Leeuw' arrived at Tristan on 22nd December 2015 for a two day visit. The vessel is 52.37 metres long, is 491 gross tonnes and has a 1400 m2 sail area.

We have published a page dedicated to
Gulden Leeuw's visit - Gulden Leeuw 2015
and check out all the
2015/16 cruise ship visits
on the 2015/16 Cruise Ships News page

The Gulden Leeuw was built in 1937 and re-furbished in 2010 as a sail training vessel. It is currently under charter from West Island College International under the banner ' Class Afloat' on a round the world voyage starting from Amsterdam on 3rd September 2015 and expected to return there on 20th May 2016 when the trainee students will 'graduate'.

The vessel departed Buenos Aires on 4th December and is expected to arrive in Cape Town on 5th January 2016.

For more on the voyage go to:

Final scheduled departure of 2015 from Tristan

Report from Cynthia Green and Alex Mitham

MV Edinburgh departed Tristan at 4.30 GMT on Friday 11th December 2015.
Passengers on board are: Kelly Burns & Savanna Green, Ivan Green, Justin Green, Erik Mackenzie and Toncho Dimitrov.

MV Edinburgh usually takes six days for the return trip to Cape Town and it took Baltic Trader 10 days for the November Cape Town - Tristan voyage, so it will be fascinating to know if the ships reach Cape Town around the same time as Baltic Trader left four days before!

The departure leaves 271 people living on Tristan da Cunha over the Christmas and New Year holidays, including sixteen expatriates.

The next scheduled departure from Cape Town is 13th January when MV Edinburgh returns to resume fishing operations. MV Baltic Trader is making an additional voyage, departing about 17th January, as it has been chartered to provide transport for plant, equipment, materials and the construction crew of 11 men from the company Sea and Shore who are carrying out the latest work on Calshot Harbour. See Harbour News page for more.

Baltic Trader Departure

Report from Cynthia Green

Passengers went on board the Baltic Trader at about 4pm on Monday 7th December 2015 and the ship sailed for Cape Town at approximately 6.20pm.

Passengers aboard are: Islanders Judith Green, Trina Lavarello and Jean Swain; Alex Bond, Carolyne and David Kewn, Stephen Carroll, Jonathan Barcio, Jane Hill and Mark Amison

Two late November yacht arrivals:

See the 2015/16 Yachts Page for photos and details of the Expedition Yacht Enigma XK which passed on 26th November 2015 and Yacht Faraway which called on 30th November 2015.

Last 2015 ship arrives at Tristan da Cunha Christmas Mail and Fresh Foods

Report from Cynthia Green and photos from Janine Lavarello - updated on 1st December 2015

Photos of Baltic Trader being unloaded in almost perfect sea conditions on Monday 30th November 2015.

The Baltic Trader took aboard passengers and sailed from Cape Town as scheduled on Wednesday 18th November and arrived at Tristan on Saturday 28th November at 19.30 after ten days at sea.

Passengers, unloaded in the dark at 20.00 were: islanders Isobel Swain, Paul Repetto, Mark, Paula & Nathan Swain, Caryn Green;

IT Specialist Martin King, FCO Health & Safety Officer Stephen Carroll, New Commercial Officer Anne Biddle and Mark Amison who represents Galliford Try who are contractors for the new hospital.

There was no offloading of cargo on Saturday evening or on Sunday 29th, as the sea was not calm enough, but offloading started at 7am on Monday 30th November.

Photos show: Above: the Baltic Trader arriving as dusk set in at 7.30pm on 28th November
Below: The very unusual site off the ship's passengers being unloaded on a pontoon as sea conditions were smooth enough for a safe
transit to the harbour at about 8pm

Amongst the returning islanders aboard Baltic Trader was 12 year old Nathan Swain
who returned from his epic prize trip to the UK with his parents Mark and Paula:
See also the Commonwealth Essay Competition and other linked pages for more on the competition and the amazing prize.
These photos show Nathan being welcomed home on the quayside of Calshot Harbour,
in the left photo he is seen by his sister Natalie.

First Yacht arrival of the 2015/16 season

Report from Tina Glass and photo from Andy Repetto

The Australian Navy training ship 'Young Endeavour'
arrived at Tristan on Saturday 7th November 2015 at 6am. Unfortunately the bad weather prevented her from making a landing so the vessel sailed on to Cape Town.

The yacht's captain was Lieutenant Commander Gavin Dawe and the sailing vessel had a crew of 44.

Shipping Update from Cynthia Green

MV Edinburgh departed Cape Town at approximately 6pm on Thursday 29th October and arrived at Tristan on Thursday 5th November 2015 at 07.30 GMT. Passengers came ashore at 08.30.

Passengers were: Islanders - James Green, Teresa Green, Benjamin & Sylvia Green, Rodney Green, Sarah Glass, Connor Glass-Green, Jonathan Repetto and Lynette Green, Educational Psychologist Carolyne Kewn with her husband David.

The final in-coming scheduled ship will be MV Baltic Trader, due to depart on 18th November with the vital mail and fresh goods for the Christmas season. Baltic Trader will offload and is scheduled to depart on 5th December. Meanwhile MV Edinburgh will be carrying out outer island fishing before a planned departure for Cape Town on 12th December.

2015 Shipping Schedule Reminders

Both MV Edinburgh, expected to leave on 29th October 2015, and MV Baltic Trader, ETD 18th November will make one further Cape Town - Tristan - Cape Town trip this year. These will be the only opportunities to reach the island for Christmas and are bound to be packed with returning islanders, but can only carry 12 passengers each. Of the nine annual scheduled ships, 3 arrive in a few weeks late August - early September and depart in early October. It is ironical that when most ships are full and places denied for visitors booking in advance, there are often spare places on the Baltic Trader and Edinburgh, as has happened in 2015.

Post Early for Christmas

Christmas post and parcels needs to be in Cape Town to catch the 18th November Baltic Trader departure, otherwise will arrive late in January.

Further October departures

Shipping Report from Cynthia Green on 12th October 2015

MV Baltic Trader sailed for Cape Town at approximately 5pm on Friday 9th October. Passengers aboard are: islanders Rodney Green, Sarah Glass, Connor Glass-Green, Barney Swain and Lynette Green; plus Ovenstone representatives Craig Bergh and Gert Marais.

MV Edinburgh loaded cargo during the morning of Monday 12th October and the only passenger, islander Leon Glass boarded the ship at noon ready for the ship's 3.15pm afternoon departure.

Left: Shirley Squibb's photo of MV Edinburgh from the archives.

Shipping Update from Cynthia Green Updated 2nd October 2015

MV Baltic Trader arrived at noon on 28th September from Cape Town and passengers were offloaded soon afterwards.

Incoming passengers were: Islanders Glenda Swain, Philip Rogers, Lucas Swain, and Holly Rogers, new PWD Director Michael Wolfenden with his fiancee Nevenka Radusin,
Clerk of Works Barry Davies and Ovenstone Representatives Gert Marais, Craig Bergh & Toncho Dimitrov.

Following the arrival of MV Baltic Trader passengers there was an exceptional number of 313 people living or staying on Tristan da Cunha (268 islanders, less 2 living abroad plus 47 expatriate workers, their families and visitors.

All three scheduled ships at Tristan da Cunha
SA Agulhas II (left), MV Edinburgh (centre) and MV Baltic Trader anchored off Tristan on 29th September 2015
Photo: Shirley Squibb

SA Agulhas II returned from Gough Island on Tuesday 29th September and the remaining cargo was offloaded by 2.30pm. The Agulhas' helicopter started flying passengers aboard at 3.30pm on Thursday 1st October and set sail for Cape Town at 18.00, two days ahead of schedule as sea conditions were deteriorating. Offloading of the Baltic Trader started shortly after the Agulhas cargo had been completed but there was only enough time to get the fresh fruit ashore. The remainder of the cargo will be offloaded on the first suitable day, but this was not possible in the morning of 2nd October.

Photos from Tina Glass show: of MV Baltic Trader (above) on 28th September and SA Agulhas II (left) with helicopter in flight ferrying passengers aboard on 1st October prior to departure for Cape Town.

Following the departure of SA Agulhas II, with its 43 outgoing passengers from Tristan there were 270 people living or staying on Tristan. See the Family Page for details of those presently on Tristan da Cunha and the SA Agulhas Page for outgoing passenger list and photos of passengers preparing to depart.

2015 SA Agulhas II Voyage

Report from Cynthia Green

The annual trip of the SA Agulhas II to Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island got underway on Thursday 3rd September at 20.00 as the ship left Cape Town. The ship arrived at Tristan 13.45 on Tuesday 8th September and successfully brought ashore 44 passengers by helicopter which included 14 returning resident islanders, 20 expatriate workers and their partners, and 10 visitors which included 6 Tristan island families now living abroad. So starts a busy month on the island and we will shortly publish a separate page with images and news of events until the Agulhas departure for Cape Town, scheduled for 3rd October.

Meanwhile SA Agulhas II will be based at Gough Island for the annual swap of personnel at the South African Meteorological Station based there. Travelling from Tristan for the Gough trip are George Swain and Harold Green - see 2015 Gough News page for details.

See also the separate SA Agulhas 2015 page for photos, a passenger list and news of events during the visitor's month ashore.

August Edinburgh Arrival

Cynthia Green reports that MV Edinburgh departed Cape Town at 6.30pm on Friday 14th August and arrived at Tristan 2.30pm on Friday 21st August 2015 exactly as scheduled. Passengers who came ashore during the afternoon were: Islander Norman Glass, Factory Manager Erik Mackenzie and Police Assurance Officer Jonathan Barcio.

It is very unusual for so many (9) berths to be empty. On this occasion space was allocated to islanders currently in
Cape Town who are not ready to travel until the September SA Agulhas trip.

After unloading MV Edinburgh will proceed to the outer island fishing grounds at Gough, Inaccessible and Nightingale Islands, and is scheduled to depart Tristan on 13th October with its lobster catch.

Tristan is now preparing for the arrival of SA Agulhas II, due to leave Cape Town on 3rd September and arrive on 8th September with a large group of islanders, expatriate workers and visitors.

Visit of HMS Lancaster and RFA Gold Rover

HMS Lancaster visited Tristan on 7th August 2015-
for a report and more photos
see the separate: HMS Lancaster page.

Ovenstones publish revised 2015-16 Shipping Schedule

Ovenstones have published a revised shipping schedule up until July 2016. There are significant changes to the August 2015 MV Edinburgh sailing which is brought forward and adjustments to other sailings in 2015. Therefore the published schedule in the August Newsletter (being posted later this week) should not be relied upon. Indeed all dates are always provisional and often change as short notice.

See the Shipping Schedule page for dates and fares.

Hamburg Sud provide passage for marooned Tristan Government UK Representative

On Saturday 18th July 2015 the Hamburg Sud container ship San Clemente called at Tristan to provide passage for Chris Carnegy who gave up his berth on MV Edinburgh to allow essential passage for Tristan islander to Cape Town. We have published more photos and the full story on a separate
Hamburg Sud July 2015 page.

Photo from Chris Standing shows the Tristan RIB returning from San Clemente after safely transporting Chris to the ship to begin his journey back to the UK. MV San Clemente is one of the latest Hamburg Sud vessels which was completed in September 2014 . The ship is 332 metres long, weighs 119,000 gross tonnes and has a maximum speed of 21 knots.

MV Edinburgh departs for Cape Town

Report from Cynthia Green

MV Edinburgh loaded passengers and sailed at 5.30pm GMT on Monday 13th June 2015. Passengers are:

Islanders Henry Rogers and Norman Glass; Andrew James, Craig Hartmann, Drew, Michelle, Siana & Alexia Campbell, Dr. Wei IP, David & Ferne Clarke and Ken Rayner. Ovenstones Tristan Staff member Toncho Dimitrov also joined the ship as a crew member.

MV Edinburgh's July Trip Arrival

Report from Cynthia Green

MV Edinburgh departed from Cape Town on Thursday 2nd July 2015 and arrived on Tristan at 2.30pm on Wednesday 8th July and passengers came ashore soon afterwards. Offloading took place all day on Thursday 9th and continues on Friday morning and was complete by about 5pm. For a mid-winter sailing this is a remarkably swift voyage of a few hours less than six days and with good sea conditions for off-loading a real bonus for those travelling and waiting for supplies of fresh foods on the island.

Passengers were: Islanders Joan Repetto, David & Doreen Swain, Administrator Alex Mitham and his wife Hasene Mitham, Tristan Government UK Representative Chris Carnegy, Andrew James & Craig Hartmann (Ovenstone representatives) and ICT consultant Ken Rayner.

This July trip is the last MV Edinburgh passenger and cargo voyage and the ship is scheduled to return on 14th July. MV Edinburgh will return in August for the first of two extended fishing trips to the outer islands. See the Shipping Schedule for further details.

MV Edinburgh Update from Cynthia Green

The Edinburgh arrived safely in Cape Town at about 8pm Cape Town time on Thursday 11th June 2015 and passengers went ashore after six days sailing from Tristan.

The Yacht Pelagic Australis

arrived early on the morning of Sunday 7th June 2015
and all but one (the skipper)
of the eleven visitors
came ashore for a few hours
before resuming their passage.


See the 2014/15 Yachts page
for more photos and news of the visit
from Shirley Squibb.

MV Edinburgh's delayed departure for Cape Town

Weather improved on Friday 5th June 2015 after four days when Calshot Harbour was closed, so the gong went at 07.00 and the ship was off-loaded. Passengers went aboard at about 15.00 and the ship set sail for Cape Town just before dark at 18.00.

Outgoing passengers were:

Islanders Tina and Tristan Glass, Philip Rogers, Glenda and Lucas Swain, Vera and Leo Glass, Trevor Glass and Julian Repetto (to attend Bio-security training on St. Helena/Ascension and Bio-security Conference in UK), Marc Escudier (CTBTO), Dr. Anja Smit, and
Greg McClelland (RSPB).

The forward shipping schedule has been amended with the next Edinburgh trip now planned to depart Cape Town on 2nd July instead of 30th June. See Shipping Schedule Page for more.

Photo of MV Edinburgh taken on
4th April 2013 from Shirley Squibb

Reporting from Cynthia Green, Shirley Squibb and Chris Standing.

MV Edinburgh's Delayed Offloading

From Cynthia Green updated on 3rd June 2015

MV Edinburgh left Cape Town late evening on 20th May 2015 and arrived in Tristan waters about 10pm GMT on Thursday 28th May.

Sea conditions were too rough to attempt unloading on Friday 29th May and at noon MV Edinburgh was still anchored in the lee at Blacksand Beach, about one mile north of Sandy Point off Tristan's east coast. The weather was good enough on Saturday 30th May for passengers to be brought ashore, but no cargo was offloaded until Sunday.

Passengers arriving were:

Islanders Anthony, Caroline & Daniel Rogers, Sasha Green, Steve Swain & baby Sophie Swain, Nicky, Emma, Ryan & baby Tyler Swain, Eric& Martha Glass,and also Dr. Mohammed Sulamain.

Sea conditions were again unsuitable for offloading from Monday 1st until Friday 5th June.

MV Edinburgh Departs for Cape Town

MV Edinburgh departed on Tuesday 28th April 2015 for its return to Cape Town and at the end of the 2014-15 fishing season.

Outgoing passengers are: Islanders, Joan Repetto, David & Doreen Swain,, visiting vet Aniket Sardana, RSPB Marine Biologist Rob Mrowicki and Fishing Factory Manager Erik Mackenzie.

RFA Gold Rover returns with another supply of medicines

The RFA Gold Rover made a welcome return to Tristan when it arrived on 28th April 2015 to deliver medicines to ensure the island has adequate supplies after the April bronchitis outbreak depleted local supplies. Administrator Alex Mitham, presently in the UK, was able to co-ordinate this wonderful assistance thanks to help from DFID and the MOD. He wants to highlight the Tristan community’s sincere thanks and appreciation for this prompt and important mission which ensures there are adequate supplies on the island.

About 10 or so crew from the Gold Rover came ashore for a couple of
hours before the ship departed later in the day. Gold Rover provided a passage to Simonstown, South Africa for Robin, Dawn, Jade & Amber Repetto. The family will travel on to the UK for Robin and Dawn to undergo training on the Isle of Man.

RFA Gold Rover made a similar drugs drop on 16th December 2007 after a flu outbreak on Tristan da Cunha.
The photo above was taken by Claire Volkwyn
of Gold Rover off Tristan on that day.

Bark Europa - 5th and 6th April 2015

The sailing barque 'Bark Europa' made a welcome return to Tristan on its 'Cape to Cape' voyage. The 52 day voyage started in the main Tierra del Fuego port of Ushuaia, and continued to Tristan via the South Shetland Islands, the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia.

Passengers came ashore at Tristan on 5th and 6th April. For more of Shirley Squibb's photos see the Cruise Ship News 2014/15 page.

After visiting Tristan the ship continued to Cape Town.


MV Edinburgh Update

Report from Cynthia Green and Dawn Repetto

MV Edinburgh left Cape Town at 6am on Friday 27th March 2015. Passengers on board were: Islanders - Ken & Judy Green, Eugene, Kirsty, Aiden & Ella Repetto, Margaret & Beverley Repetto, Gerry Repetto, Anne-Marie Collins, Kelly Burns and Savanna Green; Dr. Wei Ip, Jane Hill (Primary School Teacher).

The ship arrived and anchored 23.00 on Thursday 2nd April and passengers came ashore the following day which was Good Friday. The ship's cargo was unloaded on Easter Sunday 5th April so families involved enjoyed Easter supper instead of lunch.

Silver Explorer Visit

The cruise ship Silver Explorer arrived on Monday 23rd March 2015 for a planned two day visit. Administrator Alex Mitham and his wife Hasene joined the ship on the afternoon of its arrival and joined other passengers for the passage to Cape Town. The visit was curtailed as the weather deteriorated on Tuesday 24th and so the ship departed at 08.00.

Photo of the Silver Explorer left from Shirley Squibb.

See the Silver Explorer 2015 Visit page for more.

First 2015 Departure

News from Cynthia Green

MV Edinburgh left Tristan on Tuesday 24th February 2015 at about 16.30 following the loading of passengers tow hours earlier. Passengers departing for Cape Town were Islanders Gerry Repetto, Nicky, Emma and Ryan Swain, Eric and Martha Glass, Clive Glass (travelling on to the Isle of Man for training), Charles Kilgour (RSPB Fisheries Project, Rosie Gordon, Catherine Searle, Kelly Burns and Savanna Green.

2015 Shipping Schedule Update

SA Agulhas II dates have been announced and Ovenstones have announced a revised and update shipping schedule for the remainder of 2015.

Significant is that the next MV Edinburgh trip is brought forward to a departure of 24th March 2015 from Cape Town, with a month of fishing and a later departure from Tristan of 30th April. As a result the scheduled May / June cargo trip departs later on 20th May 2015 and the June / July trip on 30th June.

See the Shipping Page for the full shipping schedule.

MV Edinburgh's Gough Island trip

MV Edinburgh left for Gough Island on Friday 6th February 2015 to continue fishing there.

Also aboard were Tristan Administrator Alex Mitham, Chief Islander Ian Lavarello and a Tristan Fisheries Team led by James Glass, and including Norman Glass, Rodney Green, Terry Green, and RSPB Marine Biologists Charles Kilgour and Rob Mrowicki. The ship returned on Tuesday 17th February and the passengers who had made the trip to Gough above came ashore during the afternoon.

The Yacht Kamiros

visited Tristan 6th-9th February 2015. See the report and photos on the 2014/15 Yacht Visits page.

HMS Dragon visits Tristan on Friday 30th January 2015

HMS Dragon made a memorable visit
to Tristan on 30th January on a perfect summer's day.
We feature reports and more photos of the day
on the separate HMS Dragon page.

First 2015 ship arrival

Cynthia Green reports that MV Edinburgh arrived at Tristan on Tuesday 20th January 2015 at 18.00 and passengers came ashore soon afterwards, so the ship's trip took almost exactly seven days as scheduled.

Incoming passengers were:

Islanders Martin & Iris Green, Duncan, Jackie & Janine Lavarello, Dilys Green & Ian Lavarello, Factory Manager Erik Mackenzie and his colleague Toncho Dimitrov, new Commercial Manager Matthew Byrne, and visiting vet Aniket Sardana.

The ship brought the first post and supplies to arrive for nearly two months following the arrival of MV Baltic Trader on 25th November 2014. Cargo unloading didn't start until Thursday 22nd January.

There are nine ships scheduled to travel to Tristan and return in 2015, but with three arriving within a few weeks in late August - early September and the long summer gap, the sailings are not spread out evenly across the year. See the Shipping Page for the latest schedule, and prices of berths and the Scheduled Ship Page for information on the Edinburgh, Baltic Trader and Agulhas II that ply between Cape Town and Tristan da Cunha in 2015.