Expedition blogs and news from the Shallow Marine Surveys Group

Ascension 24/08/12

[caption id="attachment_325" align="alignleft" width="201"] Divers descend to commence another survey

The team has settled into a diving routine over the last couple of days. Generally we have been boat diving in the mornings and then shore diving in the afternoon. The weather has continued to be highly changeable, alternating between brilliant sunshine and torrential rain.

Loading the boats at the Georgetown pier can be challenging in a swell. The exposed site makes passing gear over a matter of careful timing as the boat rises or drops several meters. However once loaded and away the seas on this side of the island have been mild and we've been able to access some good sites along the north-west coast. Windy weather has kept us to this section of coastline until now but hopefully over the next few days we'll be able to push further around the island.

Dives here are utterly dominated by countless black triggerfish (Melichthys niger). While sheer numbers impressed all the divers at the beginning, now they are simply getting in the way of photographs we'd like to take of other species! The only challenge to the abundance of black triggerfish comes from the creolefish (Paranthias furcifer), but even in their vast numbers they can only manage a distant second place.

So far all is going very smoothly, but logistics are made a little more complicated by roadworks on one of the main roads linking different regions of the island, necessitating long detours for what normally be a short drive. Some team members swear certain offroad shortcuts can cut journey times but this is still under considerable debate.

[caption id="attachment_323" align="aligncenter" width="584"] One of the team vehicles departs Georgetown on a short-cut through the lava fields on the way to English Bay, location of the Ascension Island Dive Club facilities and one of our bases of operation.

Team Member Drew Avery
Ascension 25/08/12

Comments 1

Guest - louise stilwell-stage on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 20:59

Hi Drew,
Thanks for your guided tour- it has to be the most memorable moment of the trip

Hi Drew, Thanks for your guided tour- it has to be the most memorable moment of the trip
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Friday, 23 February 2024


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Dave John Hunting seaweeds around Ascension
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Great to see underwater photos of this very unusual submarine environment where the ubiquitous black...
Helen Marsh Team Member Stedson Stroud
03 July 2013
Great to hear more about Stedsons work, and how he got started, having met him on Ascension Island l...
Simon Plummer Volunteer Ecological Surveyors
10 June 2013
I can’t stop smiling thinking of what a brilliant time you are having. The fact that I can visualise...
Simon Plummer Black triggerfish anecdotes
10 June 2013
An enjoyable and funny read, thank you steve for making me chuckle.
Simon Plummer Ascension Island fish record
10 June 2013
The photos are brilliant, envious.


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