A Surfing World’s-First in the South Atlantic

In collaboration with the Royal Society for the Protections of Birds (RSPB) and the Tristan da Cunha government, National Geographic Pristine Seas is conducting an expedition to Tristan da Cunha and its surrounding islands. During the expedition, our team will conduct comprehensive surveys of the health of its largely unknown marine environment, and produce a documentary film to highlight this unique ecosystem and the people that steward it. Learn more about the expedition.

By Doug Simpson

If you are lucky, once in your lifetime you may get the chance to experience something no one else on this planet has ever previously experienced. For some it may be climbing a particular mountain, for others diving to the deepest, darkest corners of the oceans. Today, it was a few moments of bliss caught amidst our busy Pristine Seas expedition schedule to enjoy one of the things that made me fall in love with the ocean in the first place.

Sometimes a little R&R is just what the crew needs.  Here, after a day filled with diving, two great pelagic camera deployments (with rare beaked whale footage and a hungry blue shark), bottom-of-the-ocean drop cam operations, seal counting on Nightingale, and a recovery of naturalist/adventurer Mike Fay from a botanical overnight on Inaccessible Island, a few of our explorers got a chance of a lifetime to experience a never-before-surfed wave.

Ryan Jenkinson catches a wave. Photo by Roger Horrocks
Ryan Jenkinson catches a wave. Photo by Roger Horrocks
The wave drops and Chris Thompson comes into view. Photo by Roger Horrocks

You can also follow the expedition on Instagram and check out Tristan da Cunha and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for more coverage of the expedition.

Human Journey


Meet the Author
Paul Rose is an ardent explorer, television presenter, journalist, author, and Vice President of the Royal Geographical Society, and an Expedition Leader on the Pristine Seas team.