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Date: 27 May 2014 05:17:56
Title: Pictures of Ascension Island

We're at Nanny Quay marina and Holiday Village on the island of Tortola in the BVIs. It's a lovely place to relax, if only we had the time! We've had a hectic 2 weeks working on the boat, but more on that later. One of the good things about Nanny Cay is that it has very good free wifi, probably the best we have experienced from the boat, so we can send pictures. The ones below are of Ascension island. It's quite a unique place in a lot of respects.
 
Approaching the island it's volcanic nature is pretty clear to see.
 
The anchorage is very open and subject to swell. You have to anchor quite a long way out in deep
water where the swell has less effect.
 
There were just 2 boats when we arrived. Most give it a miss due to it's reputation for swell and the problems that causes when trying to go ashore. There is no sheltered dingy dock and getting ashore without getting wet is not easy.
 
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Little vegetation on this part of the island and it all looked like it erupted just the other day.
 
There's little vegetation anywhere, except for the highest peak shown here, Green Mountain, which
is very green.
 
Barren hills and radio masts  - just some of the many masts on the island. Being in the middle of the
South Atlantic, it's a key communications base and there are a lot of aerials of all shapes and sizes.
 
Part of the very long runway in the American base. British military planes land here and it became
one of the busiest airports in the World during the Falkland's war. The runway was extended to make
it long enough for the Space Shuttle to land here.
 
Some of the geological structures are quite amazing.
 
 
 
They don't look natural, but are!
Looking down on the main settlement. The dots off the coast to the right are the anchored yachts,
just 3 of us. There is no protection other than the island itself, so if the wind is from the south east to
east you're okay, apart from the swell that finds it's way round the island.
 
 
More aerials. The soil is all cinders.
 
A moonscape with pockets of green.
 
Feral donkeys roam the island, and ............
 
.............. the sea is teeming with black trigger fish that devour anything that gets thrown into the water.
When you arrive and drop anchor they are all round the boat in no time picking off every bit of growth,
so they do a good job keeping the boats clean. The boat that had it's supplies (just bought from the
small shop) washed off the jetty, saw them being devoured by the fish within seconds. 
 
The Ascension coat of arms on all the government vehicles.
 
Buildings in the main settlement, Georgetown. White on black cinders looked good ........
 
............. especially with the church.
Up on Green Mountain they propagate the endangered endemic plants. We got a lift up to the top
of the mountain by the conservation group and were able to do a couple of the excellent walks on the
island. 
 
Looking down on the not-so green rest of the island.
 
Up on the Mountain it's much more wet and humid and it's often covered in cloud, but not today.
 
Back on one of the beaches and a turtle hatchling starts it's journey down to the sea. Turtles breed
on many of the beaches around the island. (It's dark so we were using red light that doesn't
disorientate and confuse the turtles).
 
The military supply ship from the UK. It's a rare visitor and caused a lot of excitement on the island.
The RMS St Helena is the regular supply ship for normal goods and stops by every couple of weeks
or so.
 
Back on the mountain, showing how green it is.
 
Looking down on the giant mole hills!
 
The top of the mountain has a small bamboo forest. It was planted to try
and keep the moisture in and stop it evaporating too quickly. Catching
water and keeping it has always been one of the main issues on the island.
 
In recent times these plates were built to funnel the water down the hillside.
Now all the water is produced by desalination plants. The old water reservoirs are
used to water the endangered plants they're propagating.
 
Just shows how close the volcanic cones are to the building. Good job the cones have been dormant
for a long time!

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