Five days after dismasting in the South Atlantic, PUMA Ocean Racing have made landfall – the tiny volcanic island of Tristan Da Cunha, the world’s most remote settlement.
The island, one of the furthest outposts of the former British Empire, boasts just 262 residents and is only seven miles wide, but for Ken Read’s team it is the lifeline that could keep their dreams of rejoining the Volvo Ocean Race in time for Leg 2 alive.
After arriving at 0700 UTC today, the crew are expected to spend around four days on the island waiting for a container ship from Durban to arrive, which will then transport the stricken Mar Mostro to Cape Town.
In the meantime, Read and his men are hoping to enjoy a spot of island living, with a full programme of activities laid on for them by Tristan’s welcoming community.
“Today we get off the boat,” PUMA’s media man Amory Ross wrote in his latest dispatch from Mar Mostro.
“It may seem like a minor step towards our return to Cape Town, but it has taken an incredible effort for us just to get this far. Tristan de Cunha will offer some much needed rest, refuge, and recovery, and we’re all looking forward to being distracted for a few days before the freighter arrives from Cape Town.
“There is no shortage of work to do, but we got a good start over the last few days and everyone’s in agreement that it would be healthy to take some time away from this thing while we can afford it.
“We were in touch with the Tristan residents for much of yesterday and they are really excited for our arrival. We already have some lobster dinners lined up, a round of golf on the worlds most remote course (hazard = cow), fishing trips, volcano hikes…our schedule is full. If we could physically step off the boat on to land, which we can’t (anchor and a water ferry), we’d be stepping on to a regal red carpet.
“It is safe to say we’d all rather be headed towards Cape Town—everyone wants to get started on repairs and stepping the new rig—but this is the hand we’ve been dealt and for the time being we’re trying to do our very best to make the most of it. Our week here is going to be an experience nobody will ever forget, and we’re all planning on taking advantage of it as such.
“But can we make the start? Yes.
“Will we make the start? Don’t know, not yet.
“You can be very sure though that we won’t stop trying.”