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Land Ahoy!  Ascension Island this afternoon as the JCR departed for the science site,  some 12 hours steaming from Ascension Island.

The view from inside the Bridge as the Captain navigates the JCR close to Georgetown,  Ascension Island,  this morning.  Once we had stopped,  a short distance from the island,  a small boat and a Mexi-float came out to the ship.   The Mexi-float is the only way to get cargo to and from the island and is the workhorse for the islanders.  Today it carried all the cargo that had been flown into Ascension prior to the runway being closed. 

The Monkey Island is the best place to be to see an approach or departure,  especially when the weather is so good.  In Antarctic waters those watching might not spend so long up here.  The Monkey Island is accessible in all weather conditions as it is a well protected area. 

Flags are an important part of ship etiquette and this morning the JCR was flying the Ascension Island and the Falkland Island flags.

  The Mexi-float,  which apparently has the worlds largest outboard motor,  and a small boat,  heading for the JCR.  The call to Ascension was a short one and once all the cargo was on board and stowed,  the passengers exchanged,  the JCR was then off for the science site.

The National Geographic team delighted to be reunited with all their equipment.  Without this the cruise would not be able to go ahead.  Once it had been lifted on board it was all hands to move it to the required locations on board. 

Half-way up one of the hills I spotted this gun emplacement and think that this dates back to when there was a military garrison on the island.

Ascension Island is a volcanic outcrop that is for the most part barren.  However there is Green Mountain,  which often is shrouded in cloud.  If you ever get to go to the island then a walk up this mountain is worthwhile.  There used to be a small farm there and it was the original source of fresh water.   There are some interesting crabs that live there as well.

For the radio enthusiasts a picture of just a few of the antennas on the island.  The BBC have their Atlantic relay station based here,  although I am unsure how much is now transmitted on HF these days.  Like so many other things in the modern world the World Service now broadcast mainly on the Internet and via local VHF sites in many countries.  When I first sailed South with BAS in 1990 it was possible to receive the BBC World Service for a good eighteen hours a day.  Sadly that is not the case now.  Thankfully we can get UK radio on board,  which proved handy for the FA Cup Final today.  I have no idea who was playing or which team won!

Sunday morning will see the JCR meeting up with the fishing vessel Extractor and a passenger exchange will take place.  Those getting on the Extractor for the next few days are likely to miss the home comforts that they have enjoyed since Recife.

In other news the RRS Ernest Shackleton passed Madeira this afternoon on her passage to Harwich in the UK.

The National Geographic Blog can be found HERE

Previous updates from this trip

Noon Position Report

Latitude: 7 55 S
Longitude: 14 25 W
Bearing: 91 T, 1034 Nm from Recife
Course Made Good 091 T
(1) Destination 1: Grattan bank
(1) ETA at 13 knots is 23:55 on 27 May 2017
(2) Destination 2: Grattan bank
(2) ETA at 14 knots is 23:00 on 27 May 2017
Distance Travelled: 134
Total Distance Travelled: 1168
Steam Time: 9.95
Total Steam Time: 85.1
Average Speed: 13.4
Total Average Speed: 13.7
Wind: Direction E, Force 4
Sea State: Moderate
Air Temp: 27.4 C Sea Temp: 28.1 C
Pressure: 1012.5 Tendency (3 hrs): Falling


Previous updates from this trip

Mike Gloistein
gm0hcq @ gm0hcq.com