S.Atlantic : South Atlantic Reporting Expedition Begins
Submitted by SARTMA.com (Juanita Brock) 06.03.2004 (Article Archived on 24.04.2004)
At the moment, M/S ENDEAVOUR is at West Point Island, where Roddy Napier is celebrating his (how old?) birthday with Lill, his wife of nearly 50 years.
Photo (c) J. Brock (SARTMA)
SOUTH ATLANTIC RIDGE REPORTING EXPEDITION BEGINS
By J. Brock (SARTMA)
The first siting of l
"land" from Stanley to South Georgia will be "Shag Rocks," home for thousands of Cormorants and Shags.
At the moment, M/S ENDEAVOUR is at West Point Island, where Roddy Napier is celebrating his (how old?) birthday with Lill, his wife of nearly 50 years. No doubt he and Lill will be taking tourists across the island towards the Albatross Colony and the Devilís Nose, then relaxing with them in their home over tea and biscuits. While all of this goes on, my fate is to inventory the packages that several Islanders have brought for on-forwarding to Tristan da Cunha Ė a destination where I will be spending 23 days. Unlike last year, there will not be a fleeting stop at Tristan but by hook or by crook, they will be getting me off M/S ENDEAVOUR for a long-awaited reunion with my friends on the Island. The start-poing of my second annual voyage north happened just after Christmas and New Years (spent on Ascension Island) when I found out that M/S ENDEAVOUR could take me to Tristan and another vessel could get me off the Island 23 days later.
These Fur Seals are enjoying the sunshine at Fortuna Bay on South Georgia.
When I booked there was a lot of uncertainty about Charter Flights, as there should have been a passenger exchange in the Falklands. In good faith, M/S ENDEAVOUR was slotted in at FIPASS (Falkland Islands Port and Storage System) for bunkering on 06 March 2004. With each new cruise ship schedule I received there was a quick check to see if she was still booked in. Even though the Charter Flight Ban was in full effect, ENDEAVOUR kept to the arrangement.
King Edward Point during the clean-up after the construction of Everson House and the Cook Labs. The RRS John Clark Ross is in the background. Photo (c) BAS
The last bit of uncertainty came when news was received that Ushuaia in Argentina had run out of marine fuel and cruise liners wanting to fuel up for transition voyages were going to Stanley for bunkers. That Air Charter Ban imposed by the Argentines caused a run on fuel reserves at Ushuaia and, without forward-planning, they did not get a timely re-supply. Robert Rowlands, General Manager of Stanley Services had expressed some concern that there might not be enough to give any to M/S ENDEAVOUR. In the end, this was not the case, as a tanker arrived that provided enough fuel for everyone.
My first real destination will be Edinburgh of the Seven Seas on Tristan da Cunha, where I will spend 23 days with close friends and acquaintences.
For the rest of the passengers on M/S ENDEAVOUR the journey began with a flight to Santiago in Chile then another to Punta Arenas, a city with many ties to the Falklands. My friends, Geoffrey Haydock and Penelope Smith- Haydock would working their musical magic this year. There had been a mad search for a piano tuner and fortunately, one had been found in Punta Arenas in time for the voyage north.
Charlie had quite an adventure last year and had managed to leave home and carers for the wilder side of life and only occasionally returned home for a good meal. This year would be different. With cat flap installed, he has decided that it is more comfortable at home. Hopefully this year he will only rough it occasionally. We live in hope. He still wanted to explore every suitcase and beg me not to go.
Just like last year, I attended Mass, where Monsignor McPartland not only consecrated Host for St. Josephís Catholic Church at Tristan, but he also blessed nearly two gallons of Holy Water which was transported in a huge thermos container. More packages and mail arrived on Saturday morning as well and thus it was, that at 1030hrs there was a two-vehicle convoy worming its way through Stanley towards FIPASS and M/S ENDEAVOUR. In front with the boxes was Nigel Coleman and Cynthia Williams from St. Helena and Sonya Swain from Tristan da Cunha. Following them, was Monsignor McPartland, me, my luggage, the Host and Holy Water.
This is where I will have to love and leave readers of Falkland Islands News Network and SARTMA. For the next six weeks, I will be traversing the South Atlantic and reporting on the state of the fisheries on each Island as well as writing a travel log with lots of photos. The down side of it all is that the pages on both news sites wonít be updated until I get back. This canít be avoided as many a one-man-band will tell you.
Mommy, how could you!