The Geyser Reef, 10 years later.

JB Nicet

Location: Geyser Bank

Conducted in 2006

Expedition Leader : Jean-Pascal QUOD - ARVAM

After discovering the Geyser in 1999 for a study on coral bleaching and then in 2003 on the way to the Glorieuses, returning there this year aboard ANTSIVA is a renewed pleasure because this place is still magical by its diversity of landscapes.
Underwater and on board, with a team that shares common values on the reasoned protection of the marine environment, we were able to measure at the end of a week of re-visiting sites how much Geyser has spent this last decade and make plans for the future around THB. All this in a tip top atmosphere. Many thanks to Nicolas, Lou and the crew for taking care of our comfort and for following us on this adventure. Thank you also to the DAF of Mayotte for its support. Veloma.

The tropical depression ANITA that has just moved south of Mayotte leaves behind a beautiful calm weather, essential condition to carry out this mission. Its purpose is to draw up an inventory ten years after a zero point. A group of 9 scientists, all professional divers are gathered aboard ANTSIVA to carry out this mission.

Day 1

Arrived at the Geyser at 12:00. Briefing during lunch and the team is preparing for their first dive. The weather conditions are at the top: the water is crystalline, the air temperature is 35 °, that of water 31 °. What more?
An hour later, the divers come back loaded with study material: shellfish to measure, classify and index, a brand new tiger shark tooth, etc ... the harvest is not so bad. There is also all the collected data that is at the heart of the mission.
During the animated debriefing during which everyone brings his observations the compressor tirelessly inflates the first 9 bottles. During the many handling of loading and unloading of the diving equipment, the derrick will facilitate us. Indeed, the bottles are handled 4 by 4 and go directly from the annex to the inflation zone located in the middle of the bridge. A first evening of tranquility reigns over Antsiva. The wind has fallen

Day 2

The entire team has made its mark on board and takes full advantage of the space. Three zones are occupied. On the bridge, a first group works behind this huge 48-square-meter awning, while inside the saloon table and the living room table are invaded by computers.
With regard to the weather conditions, the team can organize two dives a day.
Scientists will focus efforts on the western tip of the reef. The area is rich in fish and they will meet among other things, a big tuna tooth dog immobile, all busy getting a toilet by small fish cleaners, and a nurse shark 3 m nonchalantly moving on the shoals from the platier.

Day 3

In the early morning the wind got stronger with a tendency to pass north / northwest, trend confirmed by the weather Charlie Tango on 6216 at 7:15 local time.
We therefore opt for an anchorage further north. Here, the reef forms a cove in which we must proceed with caution, but we will be sheltered from the winds of the north on 100 °. In addition, the landscape is superb and the nearby white sand island reflects a magnificent light.
From there, we will be able to shine on 4 sites of analysis. At work the fishmongers!

Day 4

This is the petole and we take the opportunity to visit the two sites of the extreme east tip of the geyser which are the fall and the herbarium respectively.
We fish many captains on the latter then, we chained two dives before lunch. Mission accomplished. We drink copiously the lunch and it reaches a sweet drowsiness that we return to anchor to the north west side inside. The dinner well watered also and the punch really strong of the captain do not take long to make their effects. It's a well-deserved rest for the whole team!

Day 5

The weather is mild, life is soft on the Geyser. Even if the swell is present on this side of the reef, the least we can say is that the sea does not rush us. The team of scientists takes the opportunity to pay the two remaining points on the zone. With the weekend and these favorable weather conditions, the M'zoungous arrive en masse on the reef, a submarine hunter boat come to anchor 100 meters from the boat. Human nature is really gregarious ...

Day 6

Early, we move on the south wall. The whole team is excited about this idea. We put the pick on the reef and let the boat skid downwind, placing the stern just above the drop.
All depart and return delighted with their expedition. Today the photo harvests are good.
The clouds looming on the horizon are not sporadic grains. However the weather is still beautiful and some take the opportunity to visit the reef high by being hoisted to the top of the mast. The evening falls and the weather changes. As a precaution, put the awning down for the night hoping that the wind will not turn sharply, placing us on the reef.

Day 7

This morning the weather is cloudy and the black bar looming in the east does not announce anything good. Charlie Tango announces rain over an area stretching from northern Madagascar to the Comoros. So we are not waiting for any improvement, but we are weighing anchor and heading for the front. Very quickly the wind rises to 40 knots and the sea rises. In these conditions we abandon the study of point 10 and decide to return to Mayotte. In the late morning, the weather improves and it is the engine that we approach Mayotte