30th September

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    Hello Bloggers! Here’s our end of week Blue Ventures update……

    For all those eager to hear more about our boating ventures – the arrival of Tson Tso has meant our existing boat Alo Alo has been taken out of the water for some much needed maintenance after two solid years on the water working hard us.

    Wednesday saw the start of the English lessons taught to local children by expedition members. These lessons came with some changes to the way we carry out the teaching. The class which contains a wide range of abilities was split into two – a beginner’s class and a more advanced class. The beginners class were taught using some brand new teaching materials sent out from the London office and the intermediate class were excited to receive the next batch of letters from Santa Barbara, USA. These letters are sent as part of the letter exchange programme introduced by elementary school teacher Gabrielle Johnson. All the letters were beautifully presented in a special folder decorated with fish and whale designs. The Andavadoaka school children were also sent homemade bookmarks containing pressed flowers.

    “Charismatic megafauna” made another appearance this week when group members were treated to a whale sighting. They were spotted by the boatmarshall just about 50 metres from the nearshore site where the dive was taking place! Those on shore were able to watch a display of four breaching humpbacks and in fact it was only the divers that missed out!

    Meetings have been going on with different family groups in Andavadoaka to discuss whether the village is ready to create a second octopus no-take reserve.

    The ominous sign of frigate birds appeared as they were seen flying over the beach yesterday and it rained in Andavadoaka today. This sadly could be a sign of an oncoming storm, so we’ll just have to wait for news on that!

    And for our non-expedition animal of the blog: a giant squid was has been captured on camera for the first time this week. Scientists in Japan have taken the first photo of a giant squid, which, up until now has only been seen as dead or dying, when washed up on shore. This is a pretty spectacular discovery and demonstrates the ways in which increased marine research is enabling us to see the mystical creatures previously undocumented.