Ascension Island

Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Sun 9 Mar 2008 19:42
07:55.15S 14:24.66W   
Ascension Island
This morning we left Ascension Island for our leg to Brazil, after a wonderful 3 days on the island. There are even more dramatic contrasts on Ascension than we saw on St Helena - with beautiful white beaches, that border the most dramatic, desolate "moon landscape" with very dry hills of old red lava. Then, in the middle of the island is Green Mountain, a lush tropical paradise.  There are no permanent residents on the island, only contact workers for the British government, BBC World (relay station), the British and the US Airforce. The original NASA Apollo transmissions were relayed to earth via Ascension and the airport is currently an alternative landing site for the space shuttle.
We met the charming Guild family living on the island from Scotland (she is the local public prosecutor & he is an internationally acclaimed artist/ fishing fiend), who were kind enough to show us (and our friends from Nordlys) around.  We did a hike up Green Mountain, did a pleasant dive on the China wreck, and then also did amazing turtle watching. At this time of the year, massive green turtles from Brazil swim over to mate & lay eggs. These huge animals drag themselves up the beach, dig holes and lay the eggs, then stagger back to the ocean.
We were very lucky to witness them mating and swimming close to our boat. We also spent a sunrise on the beach watching them go back down to the water. I managed to rescue a little hatchling, who was struggling to get out of his egg, while the frigate birds were circling in for the kill.  They are the sweetest, most hyperactive little creatures - and sadly only 0.1% survive to adulthood.... and now to Brazil!