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Re: [TdC] Gough Island

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  • Ian Turner
    Dear Bob, Thanks for those. Ian
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2004
      Dear Bob,

      Thanks for those.


      In message <40427BFF.2050703@...> Bob Conrich <bob@...> writes:
      > <html><body>
      > <tt>
      > <BR>
      > Ian Turner wrote:<BR>
      > <BR>
      > > Yep, I often think that about Stoltenhoff and Middle Islands -<BR>
      > > that they never seem to count in their own right. Neither was<BR>
      > > even mentioned in the Schreier book for example, although the<BR>
      > > Stoltenhoff brothers themselves were.<BR>
      > ><BR>
      > > Oh, another thing - the book specified the origins of the<BR>
      > > Tristan, Nightingale and Inaccessible names, but it just said<BR>
      > > that Gough was an English name. Who was Gough? Does anyone know?<BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > "Gough Island was discovered in the early 16th Century by the Portuguese navigator, Goncalo Alvarez, who gave it his name: <BR>
      > the island was commonly known as Diego Alvarez. Little was heard of the island subsequently, until it was resighted by <BR>
      > Captain Gough of the Richmond, a British ship, in 1731. Its precise geographical location was unclear for many years, but <BR>
      > eventually it became known to British and American sealers and whalers, who preferred the name Gough Island."<BR>
      > <BR>
      > <a href="http://www.google.off.ai/search?q=cache:gt2GPk9n4bYJ:www.btinternet.com/~sa_sa/gough_island/gough_island.html+origin+name+gough+island&hl=en&ie=UTF-8">http://www.google.off.ai/search?q=cache:gt2GPk9n4bYJ:www.btinternet.com/~sa_sa/gough_island/gough_island.html+origin+name+gough+island&hl=en&ie=UTF-8</a><BR>
      > <BR>
      > -----------<BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > Discovery and history<BR>
      > <BR>
      > Gough Island was discovered by a Portuguese seaman and named Goncalo Alvarez after him, probably in 1505 or 1506. Alvarez <BR>
      > later became Pilot General on the Portuguese sea route to the Indies, which passed across the central south Atlantic before <BR>
      > rounding the Cape. Maps of the period were never very accurate, especially since longitude could not readily be determined <BR>
      > until ships chronometers were perfected in the late 18th century. Consequently the "Ilha de Goncalo Alvarez" varies somewhat <BR>
      > in its plotted position on different old maps, but is consistently placed well southward of the "Ilhas de Tristan de'Acunha" <BR>
      > discovered by another Portuguese seaman in 1506.<BR>
      > Captain Gough of the British ship Richmond was probably misled by these problems of position fixing and charting into <BR>
      > thinking that he had discovered a new island in 1731. For many years "Gough's Island" and "I. de Go. Alvaroz" (often <BR>
      > mis-spelt "I. Diego Avarez") appeared side-by-side on the charts. Then (was it a symptom of British expansion and Portuguese <BR>
      > decline?) the older name was dropped and Gough Island obtained its present title.<BR>
      > Nobody took much notice of the islands until, around 1790, sealers discovered that good money could be made from the skins of <BR>
      > the fur seals then abundant on the islands of the Southern Ocean. Captain Patten of Nantucket, U.S.A., made a sealing voyage <BR>
      > to Tristan in that year while in 1811 a British warship calling at Gough Island found a sealing gang ashore "filthy, ragged <BR>
      > and dressed mainly in skins" awaiting the return of their ship for themselves and their catch. Sealers lived ashore on the <BR>
      > islands for spells of a few months during the height of the industry in the thirty years up to 1820, during which time almost <BR>
      > all the seal were destroyed, and came back again for a while between 1869 and 1890 when the stocks of the animal had somewhat <BR>
      > recovered, but their efforts at Gough never led to permanent settlement. Apart from devastating the populations of fur seal <BR>
      > and elephant seal, sealers may well have introduced some of the weeds now found on the island, and perhaps also the only <BR>
      > Gough Island pest - the house mouse. On the credit side, G. Comer, mate of a sealer, made the first bird collections and kept <BR>
      > a diary which gives the earliest detailed account of life on the island.<BR>
      > There were few visitors to Gough Island between 1900 and 1955. In 1904 the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition called in <BR>
      > their ship Scotia, homeward bound from the Antarctic, and made the first botanical and geological collections. In 1914 a <BR>
      > party of diamond prospectors from Cape Town lived for three months in The Glen (named by nostalgic Scots a decade earlier) <BR>
      > and panned the volcanic debris in the vain belief that it was "yellow ground". No diamonds were found. In 1922 the Quest <BR>
      > brought the men of Sir Ernest Shackleton's last expedition inland at The Glen and made a chart and further collections. In <BR>
      > 1935 Lars Christenson brought a Norwegian scientific expedition.�� Only in 1939 was the island formally annexed by Britain <BR>
      > the flag being raised above the beach in The Glen by a bedraggled party scrambling ashore from one of H.M.S. Milford's boats, <BR>
      > swamped in the surf. In 1946 commerce came to Gough Island when an exploratory fishing investigation from Cape Town proved <BR>
      > the inshore waters to be rich in crawfish; from 19 ships of a company, now Tristan Investments (Pty.) Ltd., have exploited <BR>
      > this resource in the shallow seas about all four islands.<BR>
      > On 13 November, 1955, a scientific expedition, The Gough Island Scientific Survey, landed at The Glen. This party consisted <BR>
      > of eight young scientists, most of them from Cambridge University in England, together with a South African meteorologist, <BR>
      > Mr. J.J. van der Merwe, and two Tristan Islanders. A base was established in The Glen and in the six months prior to the <BR>
      > expedition's departure on 13 May 1956 the island was mapped and detailed studies of rocks, vegetation and animal life completed.<BR>
      > <BR>
      > This expedition also demonstrated the suitability of Gough Island for a weather station and from May 1956 the hut in the Glen <BR>
      > became the property of the South African Department of Transport. Mr. Van der Merwe remained as Officer-in-Charge (in which <BR>
      > capacity he welcomed Gough Island's only Royal visitor, the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1957) and from that time the island has <BR>
      > been continually manned by South Africa.� The old base in the Glen, while ideal for access to the central mountains of the <BR>
      > island and adjoining the best landing beach, proved too shut in by the steep walls of the valley to be ideal for <BR>
      > meteorological observations and in 1963 a new station was constructed at Transvaal Bay on the south coast.� Here, 150 feet <BR>
      > above the sea, on a rolling lowland covered with bush and ferns, with vide views over the sea and to the inland hills, "Gough <BR>
      > House" now shelters a seven-man team and its equipment.<BR>
      > <BR>
      > <a href="http://home.intekom.com/gough/history.html">http://home.intekom.com/gough/history.html</a><BR>
      > <BR>
      > There are some interesting pictures on this page as well.<BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > Bob Conrich<BR>
      > ...who prefers the sunny Caribbean<BR>
      > <BR>
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