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Ascension Island diary - January 5

Day 10 - January 5th


Yet another nice day, so a trip to the beach just past the Arianne launch tracking station. 




We knew from our last visit that this was Paddy's favourite spot for some diving practice, and it is obviously something that Finn is beginning to enjoy too. The pool is fed from an underground channel from the sea and the result is a bit like a giant Jacuzzi but a lot stronger depending on the sea swell. It might look quite tame below as Pete jumps in but we almost gave it a miss as it was on the verge of being a bit too much.  



In the background above you can see the mist from yet another blow hole and in the picture below gives a better feel for its size. Today it is pretty tame but later in the year, when Ascension's renowned large rollers come piling in, the blow hole will be a lot higher with spray going 100's of yards down the beach.  



In the afternoon time for another trip up Green Mountain to do one of the mountain walks. These afternoon walks provide a relief from the heat, as the temperature is 4 or 5 degrees cooler due to the altitude difference, but also provide great views on some of them. Today the top of Green Mountain is not in the clouds unlike most days of our visit so far when it has been shrouded in mist.  



Today's walk is Bishops Path, which provides some excellent views back towards Two Boats and Georgetown, and as it is on the leeward side of the mountain seems to be less affected by mountain mist.



Near the end of the path we come across a banana plant with a bunch of bananas out of reach. 



On an earlier walk Johnny had managed to reach a bunch of bananas and put them in the fridge on our return to ripen off. These have now been sampled and are seem to be more flavourful than UK shop bought ones, but are smaller and go brown more quickly so would not be attractive to a Tesco food  buyer.


We then divert to the Garden Cottage as Johnny wants to cut back some vegetation to improve the view. En-route we stop to look at the small fledgling banana grove that has recently been planted just in front of Garden Cottage. 


Fledgling banana grove

Cross section of banana trunk


On the path below Garden Cottage there are some wild banana plants growing and lying on the ground is a piece of the trunk of a banana plant which turns out to really be a series of tightly packed leaf bases. This is probably less surprising, if you know that the banana is strictly speaking a shrub.

(For more info on bananas see the Kew Gardens Bananas fact sheet)

Johnny and Pete then turn their hands to a bit of gardening in the form of cutting back some trees which have got out of control. However in the middle of this Pete manages to step back onto an old meal stump sticking out of the ground giving himself a gash in his leg. When we get back to Georgetown it gets cleaned up and needed 4 stitches. So ends another packed and eventful day for us on Ascension Island.



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