Monday, 30 May 2016

Ascension Island Welcoming Committee

Crystal Blues arrived at Ascension Island last Wednesday, May 25, after a 750 nautical mile passage from St. Helena. For the last three hours we were escorted by a pod of large bottle nose dolphins, doing the usual surfing on our pressure wave.

They certainly lifted our spirits, which had flagged somewhat when the main halyard parted in the middle of the previous night - the mainsail lowered itself gracefully into the sail bag on the boom and the boat sailed on. In fact we were blissfully unaware until Ley did a check on deck soon after she came on watch. One more item on the maintenance list...

The biggest thrill of the passage came from Ley's fishing activities - trailing a lure astern, she watched as a big marlin (body more than 2 meters long) took the lure and leaped clean out of the water. This is potentially a very bad thing. There is no way we could land a fish that big on the stern. Fortunately his aerial activity pulled the hook from the lure, and we presume he is wearing Ley's hook as a piece if lip jewelry. Punk fish. It certainly didn't slow him down - as Ley hauled in the line he hunted back and forth behind the boat looking for the lure, and ended up right at the stern tracking us. Ley says it was the most frightening fish she's seen - so much aggression.

Ascension Island is a "young" volcanic island, barren and rocky for the most part. However the highest peak carries a carpet of trees and plants that take the edge off. We anchored off the capital of Georgetown, in Clarence Bay. This is an open road-stead anchorage, exposed to the north and west. The prevailing south easterly wind keeps our bow pointing towards the beaches and mountains ashore, which we'll explore in the coming days.
Barren Lava Fields - NASA Chose This Place To Test Drive The Apollo Mission Moon Buggy

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