By Ryan Vickers, Independent Film Maker, USA
So I have been asked to write this blog, about the expedition, without guidance or parameters. Being neither a scientist nor researcher I no doubt have a different perspective than the rest of the team.
We’ve been at sea for more than a week with a brief overnight in Maintirano to get supplies. Morale is great, unbelievably so considering there are 15 people aboard and everywhere you turn someone is brushing their teeth or stepping on one another’s toes or asking “have you seen my…?” I think it must be the work these people do that makes them so happy.
I suppose I should mention the reasons we are here. For me, it is filming the Vezo people and the places they are living. We’ve captured some great stuff. My favorite has been the incredibly shy Vezo girl we filmed catching an Octopus in the low tide shallows. Afterwards she offered her kill to me and I graciously accepted. I’ve never been given an octopus before.
The rest of the team spends as much time underwater as they do clicking away on laptops during the evenings. I have been fortunate to join them on many of their data gathering outings, and I can report that the diving has been in the range of “not bad” to “awesome”.
These BV folks love the sea, and love seeing all of its creatures. This I discovered on our first day out when one of the team came up to the surface whooping and yahooing that he’d seen 2 green turtles. I may not know an erect fungus when I see one, but I think it’s me the underwater novice who is the lucky one here. While the BV team is laying tapes and strings across the reef bed at 12 meters, and writing page after page of numbers and Latin names, I am gliding around saucer-eyed enjoying the shapes and colours of the corals and fish on these untouched reefs.