Mike Golding’s passing of isolated island Tristan da Cuhna marks the start of a new chapter in the voyage of the British sailor and his boat Gamesa as he heads into challenging waters of the Southern Ocean in the 20th day of the Vendee Globe 2012-2013.
As he heads down towards the Southern Ocean on Day 20 of the Vendée Globe, Mike Golding, skipper of Gamesa, passed the world's most isolated settlement, Tristan da Cunha. The active volcanic island is home to just 275 inhabitants living in the Settlement of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, which is further from its nearest neighbour, St Helena (2,173 km or 1,350 miles) than any other community in the world.
Speaking onboard the stern of Gamesa, Mike animatedly talked about the island:
'In the background there is Tristan da Cunha. A tiny little island and somehow it came up smack in the middle of my track. It's been a real fight getting round it. It's a little bit of Britain in the middle of the Atlantic, 250 people and seven surnames. It looks amazing … It is a very ominous looking island; it does look very beautiful.'
Just after he passed the island, Mike's shore team received the following email from Andy Repetto, Head of Communications and Port Control, Tristan Da Cunha:
'Had VHF radio coms with Mike on his way pass Tristan, wind from the N at 20 -25 knots overcast with some rain showers. Mike sail pass two miles off Tristan at 22 knots all ok.'
The archipelago consists of the main island of Tristan da Cunha itself, which measures about 11.27 kilometres across and has an area of 98 square kilometres, along with the uninhabited Nightingale Islands and the wildlife reserves of Inaccessible Island and Gough Island.