Gough Island is located at 40°S, 9°W – 2600 km from East Pier, Cape Town Harbour. (Image above by Christopher Jones currently onthe Island) South Africa has been operating a weather station on Gough Island since 1956. The first overwintering team consists of 4 members , but since then the team structure has developed to include more members. The team consists of a Medical Orderly, Diesel Mechanic, Electrical Engineer and a Communications Engineer. The South African Weather Service(SAWS send a team that consist of a Senior Meteorological Technician and two Meteorological Technicians. The rest of the team is made up of 3 Field assistants of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds(RSPB). A team leader and deputy team leader are also appointed for the duration of their time.

                 (Above L-R: Tshimangadzo Jufter(Jay) Munyai  – Leader and Electrical Engineer,  Catherine(Cathy) Mbazwana – Deputy Leader and Medical Orderly, S’Celo Ndwalane – Diesel Mechanic and Gert Benadé – Communications Engineer)

                                                    (Above L-R: Zinhle(Zee) Shongwe – Senior Meteorological Technician and Meteorological Technicians (Asa) Somaxaka and Dylan Seaton (of Gough65 staying on for another year)

                                        (Above L-R: RSPB field assistants; Vonica Perold, Roelf Daling and Kim Stevens

As with Marion77 overwintering team the 2020 annual S.A. Agulhas II relief voyage to Gough Island departed on 19 September 2020 under strict Covid-19 health protocols. In the midst of these protocols and given the clear the Gough 66 made time to be part of South Africa Heritage Celebrations and answered the call by President Ramaphosa and create  a video of the #JeruslaemDanceChallenge (have a look on Facebook). Gough will stop at Tristan de Cunha on the way to Gough Island and then Gough 66 will take-over form Gough65

                                          (Above L-R: Richard Hall – Logistics Manager, Vonica  Perold, Roelf Daling and Kim Stevens – RSPB Field Asisstants and Nini van der Merwe(BirdlifeSA) with poster of restoration programme.  The Gough Island Restoration 2021 also gets underway with the departure of Gough 66. RSPB;” Six months after having made the devastating decision to postpone the 2020 restoration of Gough Island, our team is back in strength and starting to gear up for what we hope will be a 2021 mouse eradication attempt.”

               Above a few preliminary team photos (L-R: girls of 66, Team66, Guys of 66) Follow #GOUGH66 on Twitter @Antarcticlegacy and Facebook 

© South African National Antarctic Programme • Managed and administered by Antarctic Legacy of South Africa • Photo Credits
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