Nevertheless, leave we did, while things were good, and with a stadium-style Mexican wave from Grytviken’s bay. Distress-flare smoke shrouded the British research base. Everyone ashore threw up their arms. Slowly the promontory with Sir Ernest Shackleton’s cross moved between us and them. We were left in tears — and initially were windless. Then northwesterlies and fog swallowed us as we sailed, knowing there was iceberg risk in the first 300 nautical miles. At first, during the second double-reefed day of bucking headwinds, two weeks looked like an eternity. In retrospect, on day 14, it seemed frighteningly brief. Time melted. Meanwhile, we had reached 40 degrees south, and in light winds, as if on tiptoe, approached Tristan da Cunha for the second attempt at a landing, many years after the first. Sadly, our arrival coincided with a storm warning.