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Blue Dream explores Trindade Island

We have some very good photos in from “Blue Dream” on her most recent trip to the Trindade and Martin Vim islands.
 
This is off the beaten track type of cruising and for the crew of Blue Dream a search for good sport fishing grounds.

Blue Dream Cruising
 

These little islands are typical of those obscure landmarks that leap out of past generations of mariners log books – a brief mention - only to slip back quietly under the horizon, yet can turn out to be gems.

Trinidade

 

As we can see in the “sailing ship routes of the world” above – British Admiralty Chart 5308 – Trindade (also known as Trinidad Island; not to be confused with “Trinidad” in the Caribbean) and Martin Vim Islands (indicated by the green arrow) are right between the north and south bound routes. 

It is no surprise that these islands were first discovered by those early Atlantic explorers, the Portuguese in 1504. And for later sailing ships homeward bound via Cape Horn, sighting these islands became an opportunity to correct the rate of their chronometers.

They do have some history. One eccentric American wanted to create his own “kingdom” here. The British at one point claimed them, a dispute that was resolved by negotiation with the acknowledgement that they were Brazilian territory.

Perhaps the best narrative is by English yachtsman and author E.F. Knight in the classic tale “The Cruise of the Alerte”. Knight visited these islands twice, the first time aboard his yacht “Falcon” in 1881 making her way from Montevideo to Bahia. As we can see from the sailing route shown on the chart, “Falcon” was forced well to the east before being able to make a heading northward. He stopped at Trindade for nine days and after exploring as much as possible left “without regret”.

His second visit was very much a business trip; the search for buried treasure, a voyage that the yacht “Alerte” was fitted out and equipped for. We will come back to that trip in a minute.

Nav Station

 

These islands also stand as visible sentinels at the end of a range of sea mounts that stretch 700 miles due east from the coast of Brazil. As we can see in Blue Dreams navigation screens above these leap up 4000 metres (12000+ft) from the ocean floor only to stop just short of the surface.

It is interesting, and may be a surprise to many, that a sea mount like this causes a lump or elevation the surface of the sea immediately above and around it. This is reveled by the bathymetric reading of the seas surface by satellite. Sometimes the elevation can be as much as 30ft, though not noticeable to the human eye.

Blue Dream

 

While the worst weather encountered on the voyage was a three metre swell, which Blue Dream easily cleaves her way through………

Blue Dream

 

…….the weather held perfect for the anchorage where it would be normal to have a constant ocean swell.

Tender

 

The calm weather is made the most of with a landing ashore for exploration.

Blue Dream

 

As can be seen, Trindade Island is barren apart from struggling re-growth. Yet in 1710 when Capt Edmund Halley – yes the Edmund Halley, landed here it was completely covered with forest.

Trindade

 

A hike up the summit gives a different perspective than that from the anchorage. 

Tindade

 

Blue Dream lying at anchor gives a strange sense of proportion.

Trindade

Trindade

 

Seldom does the Atlantic conjure up any image other than a grey seascape, yet here in this photo from the summit of Trindade Island the South Atlantic looks more like the Mediterranean from taken from Sicily or the coast of Turkey.

Turtles

 

Its remoteness, its isolation, probably explains why it is a breeding colony for turtles like this little chap.

The Island is also host to a Brazilian Navy base manned by fulltime personnel which are serviced by a supply ship bi-monthly.

Blue Dream

Blue Dream

 

So what about the treasure? Mr Knights expedition in 1889 was with out success. The prominent feature we can see above is the Ninepin, which along with the Sugarloaf are two conspicuous landmarks on Trindade Island. The story of the treasure was that it was stolen from the cathedral at Lima, Peru and that it was buried by pirates in 1823 at the base of the Sugarloaf, with the intention of returning for it later. In the event the pirates with one exception were caught and hung (familiar story?).  Several expeditions were mounted to find it, Mr Knights being the best equipped and planned.

If you would like to read “Cruise of the Alerte” by E.F. Knight it can be down loaded free of charge here:  http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/38891

Good Fishing!

 

For the crew of Blue Dream the expedition was all about fishing which was not without success.

Under water view

 

The waters around Trindade Island are teaming with fish life as can be seen in this photo taken from the stern of Blue Dream.

Good fishing!

 

A fine example of a deep water trevally………

Crayfish

 

…….and a night dive produces a bundle of crayfish (spiny lobster).

Blue Dream Crew

 

And at the end of a great trip its smiles all round for the crew as they depart for home.

Blue Dream’s next expedition will be to Ushuaia, Argentina; again in search of good sport fishing. We’ll keep in touch along the way…….  

Last Updated (Monday, 09 July 2012 04:23)

 
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