Ascension Island and Onward
20 April 2011 | South Atlantic
We arrived at Ascension Island on the Sunday morning, as noted in my previous blog report. After anchoring we had a good breakfast of bacon, eggs and sausages and then spent the day doing a bit of cleaning and resting. On Monday morning we organised a lift ashore with one of the work boats (there is no ferry service and we do not have a tender), did our clearing with the port control office and then customs and immigration at the police station.
Kitty George is the manager of the Port Office and she directed us to the local hotel where we had to hire a car and go to the airport to try and find our parcel from England. Let me explain that Ascension is a volcanic island with very few "main" roads - it is hard to get lost! Well, we did not get lost - we passed the USAF base, turned right into the airport and ended up at the administration office of the RAF. They phoned around to try and find who was handling our parcel and after about an hour we received a message that the person responsible had taken it to the Port Office whilst we were at the airport. Back at Kitty George's office we found our parcel waiting.
Back on the boat we installed the new display and, with a borrowed cordless drill and bits, made the necessary holes in the deck and mounted the new GPS unit - all a neat job, if I say so myself. And everything worked perfectly when I threw the circuit breaker!
On Tuesday morning we had a walk round Georgetown, the capital of the island. Let me explain that Georgetown is not a city, not even a town. It is a village with a few houses, some shops with limited goods for sale, a police station, court building and a fire station. Oh, and there are a few old ruins to visit. Not too exciting!
After handing back the hired car we arranged a lift back to the boat and prepared for our next leg of our journey - all the way to Cadiz, Spain if all goes well. At 12 noon (UTC) we raised our mainsail and our anchor, bid the port control farewell and started off in a fair breeze, heading north.
The past two days have been good sailing but accompanied with many rain showers. We are now two degrees south of the equator and motorsailing in only a light easterly breeze. I expect a few days of this type of condition as we pass through the ITCZ or "doldrums". We should cross the equator sometime on Friday evening. Our course should then take us north-northwest, through the Cape Verde Island chain towards the Azores. However, well south of the Azores we should be able to tack and then slowly head east-northeast towards Cadiz. Let's see if that is how things pan out!
With a few more fish in the freezer, I bid you well and regards from the crew. John.