Another idyllic day today here in Andavadoaka: bright sunshine, blue sea, a gentle breeze rustling through the coconut palms – even the goats have given their dawn chorus a rest. Volunteers and staff are mostly out on dives, but some are busy writing up data, working on personal projects, doing snorkel surveys and learning to sail pirogues. Some may even be lying in hammocks reading…
Sadly however this expedition is drawing to a close, and with it Jenny Hyde’s term as expedition manager. She will be greatly missed by everyone here in Andavadoaka and we take this opportunity of thanking her on behalf of Blue Ventures, and of volunteers past and present, for the dedication, professionalism and energy she has put into the project since arriving here last May. We would also like to wish her luck with her preparations for departure, and in particular her attempts to pack all her leaving presents into her rucksack. We have some doubts as to whether the small goat she received from Coco Beach will fit, but if not then would be happy for “Jonny” to live amongst us here on site until transport to the UK by sea can be arranged.
This expedition will leave site tomorrow having done a huge amount of research with very limited manpower. Despite being a relatively small team, virtually all of the ambitious programme of surveys has been completed. The only exception is the ‘fish belt’ survey on Fish Bowl – a site that continues to maintain an Atlantis-like elusiveness. Even a military-style, two-boat search operation last week failed to find it, although photos from one buddy pair’s camera are tantalisingly suggestive of a near miss. Next expedition will have some exploratory diving to do…
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