Day 6, St Helena to Ascension Island

0830Z 17MAY22, Day 6, St Helena to Ascension Island. Almost there! About 50nm until anchor down. We expect to arrive at the anchorage in the late afternoon, likely too late to check in today. We will see what the authorities say when we get closer and make radio contact. The weather has been good (hot!) with steady trade winds and good average speeds.

Current Position: 08 26S / 013 49W
24 hour progress: 129nm, 5.4kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 678nm, approximately 44nm to Ascension (and then about 5nm around to the anchorage). We continued sailing downwind with the asymmetric and 2 reefs in the main (reduces blocking of the asymmetric). We gybed to a port tack before sunset and expect to gybe back to a starboard tack, straight to Ascension, around midday today.

We have been diligent "planktonauts" and citizen scientists. We took two samples yesterday inside the MPA and hope to take 2 again today. Yesterday we had a morning sample and then a sample when we went to gybe. For both samples we had the asymmetric rolled in and turned further downwind to slow speeds. Yesterday we had to start a new bottle of bleach and this one is very soapy, making cleaning more challenging as we needed to ensure all the soap and bleach were gone and equipment didn't slip out of soapy hands. Too bad we couldn't find a bottle of Chlorox in Saint Helena, as that was simpler. We have 4 more pieces of the collection paper so we will try to get them filled with useful samples today. It's been a fun and interesting project. We are looking forward to turning in our samples in Ascension, and hope to get a chance to talk to some of the scientists and researchers.

There have been more birds as we approach Ascension and we had a hitchhiker - a noddy - again last night. Wonder if he was the same one or a new visitor. He sat in the same place on the solar panels and made a poopy mess again. Seems like the same bird, but really all birds might choose that spot and all birds seem to be messy guests. There is also evidence of some flying fish casualties and crashes into Zephyros in the dark. Poor guys.

Besides science today, we will be searching out for land so that the lucky person to spot land first can yell "Land Ho" as loudly as possible. It's likely still a few hours away.

Today will be another celebration day as it's Ronan's birthday and we are arriving to a new place. So we will be chilling some drinks and planning a nice dinner aboard. Looking forward to being anchored off of a new island, exploring a new place, meeting new people, and hanging out with Skylark some more.

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