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Folie a Deux - "Off the Beaten Path" - Ascension Island

Folie a Deux, Lluiton , and Sweet Pearl were among three World ARC boats that had detoured to Ascension Island, arriving on February first and second. We were the only visiting yachts. There was a marvelous Mediterranean meal lunch aboard Lluiton. It was a happy celebration for the three crews which would sail different paths to complete their circumnavigations.

St Helena is a 'working island' of less than one thousand people.You may not live here unless you have a job related to the island. The island is mostly barren and volcanic. The RAF and USAF utilize the airstrip. NASA has closed the tracking and emergency shuttle landing operations. The BBC/Cable and Wireless have antennas/cable relays. It was never populated until Napoleon was exiled to St Helena Island in 1815.

The larger swells at the pier-head can be even more challenging than St Helena's,no ferry service, yet well worth the visit! We saw the RMS Helena mail ship which brings in supplies once a month or so. Check in and Check out was painless. Internet was the same as St Helena. The Obsidian Hotel takes reservations for meals out. Fuel via jerry-cans was available at the one station a mile inland from the pier. Provisions are of less variation than St Helena. Everyone you pass by on foot or in a vehicle waves and says hello, quite a friendly, safe place.

We were welcomed before our arrival by hundreds of turtles swimming alongside our boat. It is the time of year that they lay their eggs. with the full moon and binoculars we could see the large green sea turtles climb up the beach to lay their eggs. We went with the conservation group to the beach at night and were able to see the green turtles laying their eggs, quite special! On a local note for us, it turns out that for some unknown reason, four hawksbill turtles had made their way to Asscension from Morehead City/Beaufort North Carolina, USA.

We also had a chance to experience some of the other Ascension island spots, we snorkled in 'Comfortless cove', where quarantined ships would anchor in the 1800s if they had the 'fever' aboard. We visited a cemetery that had an American sailor from the USS Constellation.

Another remarkable sight is Green Mountain. Charles Darwin had visited this island and it is amazing what good can be down with foresight and a few resources. Over 150 years ago, some plants were imported and turned "green Mountain' GREEN. With the few imported plants, a rain forest was created. Green Mountain is GREEN in stark contrast to all the other peaks which remain burnt brick like in color.

Last but not least, they have an 18 hole golf course, listed by Guinness Records as the worst course in the world.

There are many trails available, a couple of old forts, and many nesting sea birds.

sv Folie a Deux

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