TRISTAN DA CUNHA: Us Gets Tired of Us

It was as if half a dozen Robinson Crusoes had been popped suddenly into Times Square. Six leathery, middle-aged men from the gale-swept, potato-patch little island of Tristan da Cunha (pop. 231) walked off a South African gunboat at Cape Town and into a fairyland of beauties and wonders never imagined. They were the first Tristanites to leave home in 15 years.

Cape Town's summer profusion took their breath away, for Tristan, 1,700 miles over their shoulders in the lonely South Atlantic, is scrubby volcanic crust. In the slow, burred speech of his seafaring west-of-England ancestors, one dazzled visitor exclaimed:...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!