15th to 24th April - St Helena, at sea aboard the m/v Hondius & Ascension Island

 St Helena was antoher place on this trip I'd meant to have a lot more time on, but due to the way the flight in and the boat out worked, I only had 3 nights there which was not nearly enough.  There were people on the yachts in the harbour who had arrived intending to be there for a week and were still there two years later!  It's certainly a unique, brilliant place and I hope I have the opportunity to go back.  If anyone is heading there, I stayed at Wellington House with the delightful Ivy and her adorable cat and I'd highly recommend it.  Anne's Place is wonderful for a bite to eat and you must visit Paul and Sally up at the distillery for a short tour and guided tasting. 

St Helena
Bird wise, I headed out of Jamestown to see the only endemic species, the wirebird (St Helena Plover) and got to see quite a few.  Talking of endemic species, there used to be a St Helena Giant Hoopoe and I would have LOVED to have seen that.  There were Red-Billed Tropicbird nesting behind the hotel which was a delight to wake up to and see out of my window and plenty of White Tern nesting all around the island, especially in the trees in Castle Garden, where you could watch them roost as you ate and drank at Anne's Place.  Out on a boat trip around the north-west coast there were tonnes of birds including Black Noddy and Masked Booby, as well as loads of dolphins, a turtle and my first ever whale shark.

St Helena Plover

Masked Booby

Black Noddy
It was then onto the Hondius for the trip up to Cape Verde, with a stop off on Ascension Island.  I didn't get to do as much sea-watching from deck as I would have liked due to my M.E having a few dodgy days but I still had sightings of some wonderful pods of dolphins, some whales and a good few birds.  A lot of Band-rumped Storm Petrel were seen down towards the St Helena bit of the voyage, slowly giving way into an area filled with Leach's Storm Petrel instead.  Once we got to Ascension Island, I added Ascension Frigatebird and White-tailed Tropicbird to my life list as well.  

White Tern

White-tailed Tropicbird (and baby!)

Ascension Frigatebird
The it was onwards to Cape Verde!


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