Sea and beaches of Ascension Island
One of the main reasons to go to Ascension Island is probably for some relax on the beach: the coast line of Ascension is dotted with numerous beaches, two of which (respectively in English Bay and Comfortless Cove) are perfectly safe for swimming. Since Ascension Island is not affected by mass tourism, the beaches are mostly deserted, so you can relax far away from the hustle of major tourist destinations.
Along its coastline of roughly 40 kilometers, Ascension island offers about twenty more or less remote beaches, among beautiful landscapes. Of all these beaches, however, only a few are sufficiently protected by the big waves of the Atlantic Ocean and are therefore suitable for swimming. In this photo, the picturesque beach of Comfortless Cove, one of the two swimming beaches in Ascension Island, located about ten minutes drive from Georgetown.
The beach in Comfortless Cove is enclosed in a bay well protected from the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, and is perfectly safe for swimming. Surrounded by a volcanic landscape of solidified lava, Comfortless Cove is a very picturesque place where to relax on Ascension Island and usually there will be only very few people.
The history of Comfortless Cove is interesting, because the bay was the arrival point of the first underwater telegraph cable that started linking the continents from 1899 (the old cables are still visible is some parts of the bay). The small building behind the beach, now restored, served as a cabin for protecting the switchboard with the connections from and to Georgetown.
The little reassuring name of Comfortless Cove comes from the fact that during the nineteenth century, the bay was used to hold quarantined ships that were sent to patrol the western coasts of Africa in order to combat the slave trade, in line with the policy of Great Britain. The quarantine was necessary because unfortunately the crew suffered quite often of yellow fever, and the Bonetta cemetery (whose name derives from that of a ship), located not far from the beach, has a number of graves of people who didn't survive from the disease.
The Comfortless Cove beach has fine sand of a beautiful orange color that contrasts with the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Because of the limited number of visitors allowed on Ascension Island, Comfortless Cove is often completely deserted.
The sand cockroach is a curious sea crustacean belonging to the genus Emerita
) that spends the life along the shore.
In order to get to the beaches of Ascension Island and move from time to time between them, the best (and probably the only) option is to rent a car. The Ascension Island has a road network of about 40 kilometers, with a speed limit usually within 40 mph. Driving is on the left.
Another beautiful beach of Ascension Island, perfectly safe for swimming and without any crowd, is English Bay, about fifteen minutes drive from Georgetown.
The sands of English Bay beach on Ascension Island.
More photos of English Bay, a beautiful beach located along the northwest coast of Ascension Island, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
The rocks bordering English Bay beach sometimes form small natural pools with tropical fishes inside.
Once in the water, it is enough to swim a few meters from the beach, to be soon surrounded by a myriad of tropical fish. Although lacking a real coral reef, the amount of fish that can be found in Ascension, even very close to the shore, is impressive.
Multi-colored crabs near a beach in Ascension Island.
A beautiful dive from a rock in English Bay.
The beach in Georgetown is beautiful, but not safe for swimming because there is no protection from the powerful waves of the Atlantic Ocean. This does not apply however to the turtles, nesting here during summer (mostly from February to April). By visiting the place in August (Austral winter), usually all that you can see are remains of hatched eggs and small turtles that didn't manage to get to the ocean.
Another beautiful beach near Georgetown, but again not suitable for swimming.