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Hello all, and welcome to our Falkland Islands blog. Follow our progress through the wind, snow and penguins, and find out what it is like to live down here.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Ascension island - half term

Back to the UK and then collect Phoebe to come straight back to meet Bill at Ascension. Our idea was to watch turtles laying eggs and to maybe see baby turtles heading for the sea. Green turtles are HUGE - about 1m across. This is the time of year when the green turtles swim the 3000 miles from Brazil, which takes three weeks – and then haul up on the beaches, dig a huge burrow, and lay hundreds of shiny white ping pong size eggs. They then carry out an amazing camouflage operation, to try to head off the frigate birds which dig for food. 30 days later the turtles all hatch at once and dig their way out of the burrow in unison; they are not able to escape alone, and are all incredibly triggered by dropping temperatures at the end of the 30th day, emerging at night, to take advantage of darkness to cover their run to the sea.
In fact, we did far more than watch turtles; we swam, snorkelled, went sea fishing (caught a tuna, a dorado and two amberjacks), did some mosaicing, walked up green mountain (planted by Kew in the 1920s to produce a dewpond to produce water for the dry island), and we sat in the sun. Ascension is around 28’ all year round, and the sun is strong. BBQ is the thing, fish is the food, and outisde is the place to live. A complete change and a wonderful break, although Bill ended up working most of the time, and we had a bizarre breakfast party at 5am when some generals arrived on the airbridge…

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