Ascension Island

The trip from StHelena to Ascension is roughly 700nm and was fast and fortunately uneventful. On my first night out I spotted the red and green of a yacht's tricolour light astern and as I knew Pete would have left shortly after me I suspected it might be him. Neither of us use a radio on passage (Pete did not even have one on board) so it wasn't possible to call him up and check. As he slowly caught up with me and eventually overtook me I could see that it was definitely China Moon. I shone my torch on Speedwell's sail and Pete did the same.



The anchorage is off George Town and protected only by the lee of the island. It can get pretty uncomfortable at times. My engine was on the blink when I approached and I got blown a bit far off shore while anchoring, ending up in about 25m of water, but my anchor (a 16kg Bügl) and 60m of chain kept me in place.

There was a wonderful swimming pool that cruising boats are allowed to use as well as proper showers and laundry facilities.

Clearing in was quite painless and only required a single stop at the friendly little police station. As one would expect groceries were not cheap. I was able to get a good cup of coffee and some longed for chocolate cake at a small restaurant near the beach.



In the bad old days sailors used to collect turtles in the tidal pool before loading them live onto ships for fresh meat. Nowadays they are protected and many arrive each year from Brazil to excavate a hole and lay their eggs on the beach.

One can watch them come ashore at night but given strict instructions not to disturb them.

When the eggs hatch the baby turtles have to make their way down to the water unaided as mother turtle doesn't hang around after laying the eggs. The casualty rate is high with many being picked off by big birds as a tasty meal and others just expiring from the heat and exposure. The little one in the picture below was sadly dead from dehydration.

Mother turtle View