Ascension Island

Sun 5 May 2013 19:55
May 5th 2013, evening
Position 07:55.29S 14:24.75E
Clarence Bay, off Georgetown, Ascension Island
After the last 24 hours of shunting up and down through the gears trying to judge my arrival here it was nice to find myself in a good positiojn at dawn, safely off the south east tip of this little Island. A very pleasant sail round the coast during the morning, with interesting 'volcanic' scenary, lava fields and a lot of bare rock. The Island is steeper to than I had imagined, and the highest point is way up in the clouds, and I am assured, it is a mini tropical rainforest up there. Loads of interesting seabirds as I sailed in (I can recognise Frigate birds easily, Ascension has it's own variety, and are boobies too) and I also sailed over an enormous ray: we saw big ones in the Pacific, but nothing like this chap. Final zoological note: this is where the green turtles come ashore to lay their eggs: and indeed hundreds of holes on the beaches here, just like in the Attenborough films! I can go and watch, but it is a night time thing, and this is not so straightforward (see below).
The swell in the anchorage this evening is well down, and a comfortable night beckons; the trip ashore this afternoon to check in was interesting: there is a landing platform, just like in St Helena, but nowhere to haul a dinghy out: you have to make your own frape out to a buoy some 20 metres off the stage. Today landing was easy, but it was impossible yesterday, and apparently the swell can come up quite suddenly, so that you can't get back to your yacht! So a night time trip ashore in search of turtles might be problematic.
Georgetown is basic: there is a pub, like a traditional British Working Men's Club, and a hotel, but that was closed today, Sunday. There is one shop, also closed. And that is about it. No wonder the Ascension Islanders go down to St Helena for their holidays: to them it must seem a bustling metropolis. Apparently the hotel has internet, but I'm not going to risk taking my computer ashore, so may not be able to make use of it.The harbour staff and the police were extremely helpful and friendly, and I am glad that I put in here, It is however very hot and down on the coast quite arid. A couple of days, and we are off to Brazil.
You don't want to hear about the leaking decks again, do you; so that is it for now.