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This morning when I went on to the Bridge Ascension Island was in sight as the James Clark Ross returned on completion of the National Geographic Society science cruise.  By 09:30 the anchor had been let go and the ship was sitting comfortably off of Georgetown.

About to anchor off Georgetown this morning.  A perfect morning for boat work,  with six passengers coming out to us and thirty from the ship heading ashore for the day to attend a presentation on the work that has been carried out on the cruise.

We were not the only ship here today.  Also present and at anchor was the Spiekeroog which was discharging supplies to the island via the large Mexifloats.

A Mexifloat heading ashore with two 20ft containers on board.  These are a very effective means for moving cargo from a supply vessel as there is no jetty for ships to tie up alongside.  One downside is that if the sea conditions are not suitable,  and large swells can run through here,  it could delay the loading and off-loading operations.

Upon arrival this morning a boat came out from Georgetown with six passengers who are travelling with the ship to Cape Verde and then fly onwards to the UK.  The boat then made two trips ashore with thirty personnel,  a mixture of scientists and ships compliment to attend a presentation about the work carried out in Ascension Island waters.  Sadly I was not able to go but I am pleased to report that I have got some pictures taken from today,  although I may not know the full story behind them!  I was fortunate many years ago to get stuck on the island for a few days and have been lucky enough to get around most of it.

  The seat of power on Ascension Island. Notice the volcanic ash that is everywhere.  Picture Andy England

Defence of the island is taken very seriously!  Picture Andy England.

Looking out to sea from Georgetown.  In this picture you can see both ships at anchor and also the cargo operations on the jetty.  The containers are lifted ashore from the Mexifloats using a mobile crane.  They are put on to trucks to then be taken to their destination on the island.  The Spiekeroog is delivering cargo for the American base on the island.  Picture Andy England

Whilst on the James Clark Ross we have had sunshine all day,  up on Green Mountain it has been cooler and a bit damper.  Picture Andy England.

One of the many beautiful sandy beaches on Ascension Island.  There is only one beach that it is safe to swim at but the others do all look lovely.  The Captain did ask the question that considering all the black rock on the island,  where did the golden sand come from?  Picture Andy England.

I hope to have more images from Ascension in the next update as well as a bit of background on the visit to the ship by King Neptune and his Court.  The JCR is due to cross the Equator at about 05:00 on Tuesday morning and The Royal Court will be convening on the Aft Deck at 14:00.  We have a lot of people on board who have not had the pleasure of meeting him and I am sure will enjoy the experience.

Whilst we have been in the vicinity of Ascension Island I have spotted a few frigate birds but none ever came close enough to snap a picture. This afternoon two came close by to us,  although very briefly,  and thankfully I managed to get this shot.  I have been told that the other side of the island is the best place to see them and we do see them in large numbers when passing Fernando de Noronha,  which is further to the west than Ascension Island.

With the sun now setting the ship is making good progress northwards,  with our minds turning to our visit to Southampton (a first for the JCR) and then up to the Arctic and I am hoping some good polar bear sightings.

Previous updates from this trip

Noon Position Report

Latitude: 7 54 S
Longitude: 14 25 W
Cruise Number: JR16-NG
Distance Travelled: 207
Total Distance Travelled: 1186
Steam Time: 24hr Science
Wind: Direction SE, Force 3
Sea State: Moderate
Air Temp: 26.5 C Sea Temp: 27.4 C
Pressure: 1013 Tendency (3hrs): Falling


Previous updates from this trip

Mike Gloistein
gm0hcq @ gm0hcq.com