by Steve Richards

They would come to be known as Team 51,

Once the next expedition had truly begun,

Only Kathryn had been there and done it before,

For the rest there were lots of new things to explore.

Amanda would teach us to swim upside down,

Part diving, part yoga, with a touch of the clown.

Alyssia from Jersey, the coolest by far,

Sometimes lives in Hawaii, sometimes lives in her car.

Marketta who never wakes up till midday,

At breakfast she simply has nothing to say

But Manga Lodge coffee would make her convert

To a pole-dancing vixen and outrageous flirt.

Daniella the architect, like, loves to enthuse

About all forms of sea life and wooden canoes

She purchased a turtle to, like, keep it alive,

And only stops talking in order to dive.

Anne who came here to try diving again,

And who, thanks to Samantha, discovered her Zen,

Who sees underwater like Mr Magoo,

But BV will make sure she has something to do.

And Steve who designed a ridiculous chair

Which is more like a throne but he doesn’t care,

He thinks he’s the Big Man they call Papa Steve,

But that chair will be firewood as soon as he leaves.

And let’s not forget Goffe, our child of the sea,

Who makes us feel tired with his sheer energy.

And guiding them all through their days in the sun,

Are the staff, like Chiara, exposing her bum,

As they finally let her get back in the boat,

After making to leave and just letting her float,

And Pete who is sweet and is missing his cat,

And fiancée too, of course, don’t forget about that,

And Sam who was born to live by the sea,

Who takes Nudibranch pictures and loves herbal tea.

Bic is the diver we all want to be,

We suspect he has gills but they’re too hard to see,

Georgie looks after sea cucumber beds

And ties sea weed to bottles with long nylon threads,

Sophie the Queen of the science we do,

Who loves noodles and chocolate drinks thicker than glue.

Capitain Nick, the Napoleon Wrasse,

Who the Malagasy staff seem to love to harass

By filling their laptops with bugs he can kill,

“It won’t happen again Nick!” but you know that it will,

And finally Shawn who looks over it all,

Thin as a rake and terrifically tall,

Who is dreaming of broadband and Tacos to eat,

And who wanders around with no shoes on his feet.

When the NTZ opens it will signal the end,

Except for Kathryn, Alyssia and newcomer Ben,

They will get a bit longer in Andavadoaka,

While the rest of us hope that the camion is broke

So we set off to Tulear in a nice 4×4,

Though hopefully a bit better planned than before,

And we say our farewells to the people we’ve met,

But we’ve all had a time we will never forget.

Posted by Blue Ventures

Blue Ventures is an award winning marine conservation charity. We rebuild tropical fisheries with coastal communities. On our Beyond Conservation blog you can hear voices from the front line of marine conservation written by our staff and volunteers.

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