Gough Island. A small rocky island on the mid-Atlantic ridge. Close to Tristan da Cunha, but apart from that, extremely remote. It took us five days of sailing before we reached it.

Gough Island in evening light

Gough Island is a paradise for birdwatchers. There are two endemic land-bird species (the Gough Moorhen and the Gough Bunting) and many, many seabird species around the island. When we arrived, the light was gorgeous, low and warm, but there was an extreme wind. No conditions for a zodiac cruise to try to find the land birds, but with the thousands of Great and Sooty Shearwaters, Tristan and Wandering Albatrosses, Spectacled and Great-winged Petrels and prions around the ship, there was more as enough to see and no complains were heard.

Thousands of Prions in front of Gough Island

The light changed by the minute and while cruising down the coast, we saw more and more seabirds. After five days at open sea, a welcome change of scenery. We would stay overnight near the island and hoped that the next day, we could go into the zodiacs, though the weather forecast wasn’t very promising…


Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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