Ok the sun is shining and ship is finally being unloaded, after a few days of poor weather. Passengers are due to board at 4pm this afternoon. The weather forecast doesn't look bad for the week ahead so I think we should arrive in Cape Town on schedule, in 6 days time.
While I'm really looking forward to seeing Simon (and Sandy & Ali) in Cape Town and everyone back home, after nine months here it is sad to be leaving too. The people are extraordinarily kind and generous and I've made a lot of friends here. Most of whom I'll never see again, I guess. I know one or two follow the blog, so I'd like to take the opportunity to thank them for welcoming me into their very special community.
It has been the most amazing experience of my lifetime. I called the blog Further than the furthest (thing) after the screen play of the same name, about the evacuation of the island in 1961 due to a volcanic eruption. But the work has been harder than the hardest thing, because of the remoteness and isolation - not to mention the landscape, weather, vegetation and the plants themselves!
Interestingly I visited the summit of the 1961 volcano yesterday afternoon to investigate a reported rare plant the endemic fern (Asplenium insulare).
I eventually found it deep in crevices and fissures in dark recesses,
between 0.5 and 3m below ground level. Surprisingly there was a lot of warm suphurous air coming up from between the cracks. I
guess 50 years since the last eruption is just a blink in geolgical time. Or maybe this is a good time to be leaving...
I'll update the blog next from Cape Town.