Missing Ascension Day
Wed 8 May 2013 12:41
Wednesday, 8th May, 2013
Position 7:47.3S 15:54.2W
I left Ascension Island yesterday late afternoon, having quickly become accustomed to the pace of life there (0 mph), and the climate; but I was not willing to wait until the weekend to help them celebrate Ascension Day (of course!). It would seem to be the event of the year. No internet yesterday at all, so have been unable to correspond further. The Island was looking at its best in the setting sun, with the peak, Green Montain, strikingly green (!) without it's usual shield of cloud.
Lasting impressions will be of the beach (Long Beach) where the green turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. In reality this is right next to the settlement, and there is a dirt football pitch at the back of the beach which you never glimpse in the David Attenborough films! Despite the rather spoiled environment the turtles are clearly not put off, and the conservation folk have counted record numbers of 'nests' this year. I havn't witnessed any egg laying, I'm all through with that sort of thing now, but you see the turtles gliding about the bay, and there are egg shells everywhere on the beach which is so pock marked with the turtle's excavations that it looks like a mogul field in a snowboard park. Once you realise that all the wonderful sea birds are only collected here to eat the dear little hatchlings you are forced to take a second look at nature: it's a hard life everywhere!
Without my driver's licence I was unable to rent a (the) car, and as there are no taxis, I was unable in this heat to walk more that a mile or two from Georgetown: a collection of single story breeze block built bungalows with tin roofs, laid out seemingly at random on a plane of volcanic ash: not a patch on the buildings in St Helena. The people who live here were however charming, and helpful, and the only hotel had cheeseburgers for lunch yesterday, which tasted a lot better than a Big Mac back home.
There were two other yachts when I arrived, both of whom I knew from St Helena, and they are going to what seems to be a very yacht friendly port in Brazil called Cabedelo. So, at this stage, I am following them. It a llittle further south that the direct route to Trinidad, but another stop will be welcome: Ascension was good idea.