It appears that our ship will be arriving today (Friday) about noon time. Perfect timing, we hope – enough time so we can get prepared during daylight, load during daylight and be off. Knock on wood, everything goes without a hitch.
But of course, as with everything that we have done over the past, lets say 5 years, nothing comes without risk. Our friend or foe will certainly be the weather. It is forecast to get windier as the day goes on, but the big one is the ocean swell. How big will the swells be?
We have certainly been thinking about the loading of the boat for over a week now, and I think we have a plan. Obviously a wave going past the boat at the wrong time creates a very good chance of breaking something if the boat suddenly violently jerks on the cranes lifting cable. We are very wary of this and are coming up with a system that will serve as a bit of a shock absorber for the lift. Fortunately, our Tristan friends are going to assist with two of their RIBs which can help position PUMA’s Mar Mostro and help create this shock absorber. It all has to work perfectly. Fingers crossed.
I know Amory has been sending photos and video and blogs of our activities here on the island. It has been nothing short of an amazing experience. We have had time to acclimate into island life. We have seen first hand how this group of people on the island live off the land and the sea, as well as off of periodic shipments coming from South Africa. We have seen industry (lobster) and culture. We have spoken to kids and adults alike. We now appreciate the access we have to basic communication when on the mainland more than ever. Cell phones are a non-entity here. The internet café’s three computers get you emails at their own pace. And don’t even think about downloading an attachment no matter how small. Community communication happens with pieces of paper posted in certain key locations around the town.
I was sitting in the internet café alongside Brad yesterday getting our emails when all of a sudden a cow walked up to the narrow front door and stuck in her head. After looking around, she backed out and walked away. Brad suggested she was checking to see if a computer was free (which it wasn’t) to check her Facebook page. Welcome to Tristan.
Our team has really fallen for this place and its people. They have been nothing short of exceptional hosts. We owe them more than we could ever repay. They have given us hope as well as comfort in pretty trying times.
One thing that has really stuck out is the fact that they have very strict rules and abide by them without exception. It is what makes this place tick, I would imagine. It would be easy to simply have loose rules and much more of an anarchistic society given what they have to work with and the small number of people. But they don’t, and they stick to their governing authorities and rules and it solidifies a society that simply works.
To say thank you and goodbye to Tristan da Cunha will be difficult. It will be a bittersweet moment – a moment in time that we have been looking forward to because it means that we are off to hopefully rejoin the race that we are meant to be in. But, it will also mean saying goodbye to our new amazing friends most likely forever. But you never really know. Hope is a strange bedfellow. Hope that we can stay on schedule, and hope that someday our paths will cross again with some or all of Tristan’s wonderful population.
Thank you friends. May your cows get fat and your lobsters be plentiful. And, may your internet get speedy, but your culture never change.
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