In the evening the vessel will depart from Ascension Island. Ascension Island is a volcano in the middle of the ocean, about 1,280 kilometres (800 miles) to the northwest of St. Helena. It is a dry island with a moist and richly vegetated peak named Green Mountain (859 metres; 2818 feet). For more than 300 years after its discovery, in 1501, the island was uninhabited. The few visitors were deterred from settling due to the aridity. It was eventually occupied in 1815 by the British who wished to prevent any possible use by the French for an attempt to release Napoleon from St. Helena.
Embark on your sea voyage, and witness the northbound spring migration of northern birds like Arctic terns and long-tailed skuas that join you to cross the Equator ("the Line").
Disembark this morning for an an excursion to Cidade Velha, steeped in history. Here observe the massive fortress on the hill, built to deter English marauders in the period when the Crowns of Portugal and Spain were united and Portuguese possessions became as fair game to the likes of Drake and Raleigh as were Spanish ones. See the ruins of the Cathedral, the oldest Christian Church in the tropics, and the slave whipping post in the main square. The village is well watered and there are plantations of sugar cane that support a rum distillery, and several species of birds. Have another guided stroll around the City of Praia, which is the capital of the Cape Verdes, and has given rise to a unique variety of folk music, which you can enjoy while passing the various bars!
For those passengers disembarking here to return home, rooms will be reserved at a local hotel in Praia from where you will collect your luggage and freshen up at the end of the excursion. From here begin your independent journey home.
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