National Geographic : 1962 May
Wind-swept isolation surrounds Tristan da Cunha, five small islands in the South Atlantic. Many place names record trivial events: Ridge-where the-goat-jump-off; Down-where-the-minister-land-his-things. Tristan Islanders raided uninhabited Nightingale and Inaccessible for birds and eggs. The next morning the Island Agricultural Officer, Dennis Simpson, gathered together a small scouting party at Little Beach, just north of the Settlement. One of Tristan's dis tinctive long boats - made of canvas stretched over a wooden frame, because of the scarcity of timber (page 681)- delivered them through a rough sea to Tristania, which promptly weighed anchor and then headed southwest toward Nightingale Island. We who stayed behind organized around the-clock watches in order to record the in 682 tensity and the time of each future quake. We employed a simple grading system for in tensity: One that merely shook the houses slightly we graded "A"; one more prolonged and louder, "B"; and one that really rattled the pictures on the wall, "C." During the first five days that Simpson and his party were away, we recorded 89 shocks. Every morning and evening we would trans mit a bulletin listing the tremors of the pre vious 12 hours. The party on Nightingale picked this up on an ordinary radio set.