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A Letter from South Atlanta

Peter Holthusen wrote to us from Tristan da Cunha on 24 May - we just got his letter!

Any concerns I may have had for my safety were eclipsed by the attendance of a beautiful Wandering Albatross

Dear Jill,

I am delighted to report that I have finally reached the remote South Atlantic island of Tristan da Cunha, a long and arduous voyage of over 6,000 miles. It has truly been an experience to behold, for as you know, I have always held a burning ambition to sail single-handed around the world, having been inspired to do so by the late Sir Francis Chichester, whom you will recall was the first person to circumnavigate the globe in 1966/67 in his Ketch ‘GIPSY MOTH IV’. I showed you the blue plaque on his former home in St. James’s Place when we went to Dukes Hotel for cocktails last year.


It has taken me just over 3 weeks to sail here from Ireland, interrupted by a very brief stop at the beautiful Cape Verde Islands and Ascension, just over 1900 to the north of here. The passage south was relatively good sailing save perhaps for a ferocious storm which hit me from the south 350 miles west of St. Helena.

The storm lasted for 3 days, but any concerns I may have had for my safety were eclipsed by the attendance of a beautiful Wandering Albatross, a magnificent bird who followed me from astern for 2 days during the storm and 2 days after.

As you can imagine, this has been a life-changing experience and one that I am looking forward to sharing with our discerning readers later in the year. I have been exploring Tristan and the neighbouring islands of Gough, Nightingale and Inaccessible for the past 3-4 days now and plan to stay until the end of the week before slipping my moorings for the return passage to Ireland.

This letter will no doubt reach you long after I have returned, which should hopefully be around the 9th-11th June. Weather permitting of course!

Please send my very best wishes to Jane and all the team.

Take good care

Peter x