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Ascension Island diary - January 11


Day 16 - January 11th


We have to get up early.  Lynda needs to be at the hospital by 06.30 as she needs a general anaesthetic so her wrist bones can be moved back to the right position before a fibre glass type cast (better for the plane journey home) is put on.


So after dropping Lynda off  for the op. I make my way back to the beach to see if there are any turtles there as the sun is just coming up.


Sure enough there in the distance is a turtle heading back to the sea


leaving the tell tale tracks behind her. I can't see any other turtles and head back for breakfast, although there are lots of other tracks.

Then Johnny comes back after an early morning walk to tell me there are a couple  on the beach still in the last stages of covering up their nests, so back to the beach, breakfast can wait.

It is difficult to see where the nest had been and it must be exhausting work for the turtles as they seem to take for ever flipping sand back

Also the holes are much deeper than the pictures would suggest and in real life one wonders how they will get their large bodies out of the hole and back along the beach.

But then they are up and off along the beach, stopping every now and then, presumably to recharge their energy levels. 

Once they get in sight of the sea it is all downhill as the beach slopes steeply,

and eventually a large wave comes in and helps for the last few yards. Now it is time to return and finish breakfast. Then at ten o'clock time to go and pick Lynda up.

Later the beach is back to it's normal deserted self.

The cloud created by the air being lifted up and over Green Mountain trails off out to sea. I had wondered for a while how the early explorers found a small dot like Ascension in the huge area of the South Atlantic, but maybe they were first alerted by a plume of cloud like today's.

Incidentally the more observant amongst you may have noticed that the clouds in all the pictures are never very tall, unlike pictures of the african savannah. Well the answer is that Ascension Island sits in the path of the trade winds and there is an effect called the "trade wind inversion" which is a layer of air where it actually gets warmer the higher one goes and this prevents clouds growing vertically through this layer.

At Ascension this layer is usually found at a height of 1000-1500 metres, say 3200 - 4800 feet, which is just above the summit of Green Mountain. Hence the clouds often seem to sit on Green Mountain but don't rise much higher.



As we walk along the cloud burns off and the boys decide to pose for another picture.


As Lynda is still a bit dopey from the anaesthetic wearing off we have a bit of a lazy day and don't venture far from base.


We will make up for this tomorrow by having an early start, before it gets too hot,  and walking up the "ramps", as the hair-pins are called, to the Red Lion.


Finally we drop Peter off at the airhead in the evening as he is flying back tonight but we have the rest of the week before we go back.

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