Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Land ahoy!!

The 41 day Mascarene Plateau Cruise finally came to an end on 16 November after sampling in amongst the islands of the Seychelles Group for more than a week! Passing close by lush tropical islands covered in palm trees with inviting golden sandy beaches was almost too much to bear!

All the scientists that participated in Leg 1 of Cruise 3, Mascarene Plateau, are shown in the image below. They are from left to right: Michelle Etienne; Oddgeir Alvheim; Helena Francourt; Denis Tweddle; Ole Sverre Fossheim; Marek Ostrowski; Tore Mork; Isabelle Ansorge (Local Chief Scientist); Vimal Ramchandar; Vikash Muibodhe; Vincent Lucas; Kim Bernard; Sven Kaehler; Riaan Cedras; Jackie Hill; Tommy Bornman; Morgane Perri; Rodney Govinden & Tore Stromme (Cruise Leader).

Most of the scientists and crew (minus the Seychellois participants that preferred to go home for a well deserved rest and local cuisine) went out that evening to paint Victoria red! I'm proud to say we partied like true sailors that have been at sea for too long & some only returned to the ship as the sun came up! The next day was spent exploring the beautiful Island of Mahe. Below are some of the photos taken in between eating crab curry & swimming at near pristine beaches.

The R/V Dr Fridtjof Nansen remained in port for 3 nights to bunker fuel, change ship and scientific crew, take on supplies and officially launch the ASCLME Programme in Seychelles. We conducted tours of the ship for school groups, scientists from local research institutions and local dignitaries. Due to heavy rain the launching ceremony was held at the Convention Centre and it was a great success! Our sincere thanks goes to the UNDP office in Seychelles for organising the event and also to the local Seychellois scientists (Michelle, Helena, Vincent and Rodney) for making the whole day a success!

Text and photos by Tommy Bornman

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