I am currently sitting on a boat, wallowing in a south Atlantic ocean swell, five cables off the rocky coastline of the most isolated, permanently-populated island in the world.
My fellow passengers have just landed and I swear a few moments ago, through powerful binoculars, I saw my wife waving to me from a sheep-filled meadow.
But I am pinioned here on deck six of the motor yacht Corinthian II, prevented from landing by a very large policeman.
Twenty-four years ago I wrote a few rather innocent-sounding lines in a book and in consequence I have been banned – apparently for life – from the island that lies forbidden before me; the tiny British colonial possession of Tristan da Cunha.
This begins Wallowing of the coast of Tristan, a report that I heard this morning on the BBC. It was a pretty interesting look at a very out of the way place from the perspective of a writer whose great sin that incurred the wrath of the island’s elders was to quote from another book about a secret affair of the heart.
Wikipedia sez that Tristan da Cunha has just one settlement, Edinburgh of the Seven Seas and is regarded as the most remote permanent settlement in the world, being over 1,500 miles (2400 kilometres) from the nearest human settlement, on Saint Helena (where Napolean was imprisoned).
About the photo: Bruno Dr. Sanchez-Andrade Nuno a lot of photos from the January 2009 eclipse and information about them on his January 26 Eclipse blog. This particular photo was taken by Leo writes that he climbed up to the “Base”, the mountain surrounding the village and was later able to send these via internet, which arrived on the island about 2 years ago (probably providing a welcome alternative to their one TV station).