BIG BANG: Gerrie Pretorius from the TV series ‘Leef jou Reis’ ignites a cannon at Durbanville Hills Winery as his 
co-traveller to Tristan da Cunha, Johan Bakkes, left, looks on. Picture: Ian Landsberg
Braing the South Atlantic ocean’s Roaring Forties, the howling winds that drive massive waves between the latitudes of 40 and 50º, in a 37-foot yacht to reach the world’s most remote island, Tristan da Cunha, is the latest adventure of Gerrie Pretorius and his crew.

Aboard the HMS Helena, the Leef jou Reis (Live your Journey) crew embarks on its five-day journey bound for St Helena Island today, where they will meet up with the yacht Dodo, skippered by Roux and Christine Gerber from Bloemfontein.

On January 9, they set sail for the world’s remotest island.

Pretorius, Leon Human and celebrated Afrikaans writer Professor Johan Bakkes will become the first South African and African film crew to document their adventures to, and on, the island of Tristan da Cunha.

The island had none of the “traditional” tourist attractions like fancy hotels, bustling nightlife, or safe swimming, said Pretorius, who is filming the adventure documentary to be aired on kykNET.

“Tristan is my dream destination and we have been planning this journey for three years. Fishing vessels go there in September to fish and to catch crayfish, but they are there for two to three months.

“We will be at sea for a month and a half, there and back. We will film a documentary on Tristan and may travel to outlying islands Nightingale and Inaccessible, where the islanders collect penguin eggs which form part of their staple diet, along with potatoes and seafood,” said Pretorius.

He added that the island was unique in its isolation and inaccessibility, and that there were only seven family names on it.

Tristan da Cunha lies 2 813km west of Cape Town, and has a population of 264 people who eke out an existence from fishing and small-scale farming.

Even though the crew’s visit will be in summer, icy winds blowing in from Antarctica make for all-year-round winter conditions. When not battling the winds, the crew will face the treacherous Roaring Forties on the way to the island from St Helena and on the return leg to Cape Town, in mid-February.