An Italian’s Blue (Ad)venture

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    End of week 4 of expedition 26. Only two more weeks and my little ‘Blue Adventure’ will come to an end. Time flies here in Anadavadoaka, yet when I think of the day we arrived here dazed and tired from the camion journey it seems like a very long time ago. I had no idea what to expect from the expedition and knew near to nothing about fish and coral. Today I can ‘name and shame’ (or identify if we must use the scientific term) about 150 species of fish and tell soft and hard coral apart. If you are thinking that this is an easy one come again: bubble coral and galaxya waft yet they are hard corals!! Now google those up if you are curious to see what they look like. Definitely we have lots to keep us busy here. On 6th December we went Baobab mapping: I love those monsters. The 1.5-hour zebu-cart ride was also a new experience, a bit bumpy but at least we were lucky with the weather since it was cloudy (I can’t believe I am saying this!!). The sun here at this time of the year can be truly unforgiving, especially between 11am and 2 pm (and 3 and 4…) if you are planning a ride through the spiny forest you definitely want to do it early in the morning and possibly on a day like the one we picked (by chance). I was so glad for the few drops coming down from the sky so when we arrived I still had some energy left to climb up a Baobab tree before measuring up and taking coordinates on the GPS with my group. I could go on and on about all the exciting things we have been doing till now, on top of the diving of course. I loved snorkeling in the mangrove, watching the huge bonfire before camping on the Northern Beaches (the area where the Marine Protected Area is coming to life), discovering my carpentry skills after I managed to build a ‘fine’ table from a few planks on a morning’s work at the Northern Beaches, teaching English to the children in the village (and then hear them shout ‘hello Rossella’ when strolling along the ‘high street’).
    It is not all work however!! We have a day off every 5 and of course a party night, when we do our best to replace the nitrogen in our bodies with the local rhum ;). I will never get bored of watching the sunset off Halfmoon beach, watching the starry sky after the generator goes off or looking for new snakes, spiders and bugs to photograph. This is a little of what I am getting out of this expedition jammed into a ‘short’ blog entry. It is hard to summarize it all in a few lines and even harder to describe the feelings and images that are stored in my mind for ever. Time surely flies in Andavadoaka but these memories, images and feelings will always stay with me.
    This is all …from an Italian in Andavadoaka.
    Veloma! Rossella