New mission aboard Antsiva. Some begin to know the boat by heart. Others are welcome on board for the first time. As usual, the team of turttle-men rush to the front cabin but a bad surprise awaits them: the turtle boxes are already installed on the deck, thus obstructing all the hoods and openings of the cabin and transforming their vast airy room in an infernal oven. It will be hot in there !!!!
We set sail immediately for the Glorious. Arrival late morning the next day. Scientists immediately begin work. Two teams are setting up each with different goals.
On the program, collection of small fish, capture and luggage of young turtles for a first team. Diving and hyper spectral manipulation for the second team.
And of course, at night the two teams are mobilizing to survey the Glorious beaches in search of large female turtles that will be captured, boarded, parked in crates and released with an Argos tag on the back at a hundred miles of their nesting place.
The first sleepless night is fruitful: 6 turtles are already caught. Immediately embarked and swaddled in their big rice bag, they find themselves wisely stuck in their crate. The time to stick the last beacons and put the last magnets, we leave the Glorious at sunset for the first rotation. Due to the risks of piracy that currently exist on the Seychelles islands, we opt for a south-west route. The wind is favorable and we sail a good part of the night. At noon, the next day, the 6 turtles are released and find with happiness their natural element. Argos tags have been activated, tracking can begin ...
After another night of sailing, we find the anchorage of the Glorious. And the work of the scientists resumes. The "jumping turttle" is still as many emulators and everyone has the opportunity to try out with more or less success this sport, now well known to Antsiva: an activity that consists in running an annex of juvenile turtles, then to jump on them and capture them by catching their front paws.
After 6 days at Les Glorieuses where each team works intensively, it is time to schedule the second night of turtles. This time, two nights will be needed to catch the 6 turtles. And this year, the handling of these large animals are not facilitated by the military tractor.
But the team starts to be well honed and the second rotation is done without worries. This is because of the heat and their extra day spent in the crates, but the turtles are particularly wise and quiet and do not hear them from all the crossing. After releasing them in the early morning, Antsiva heads for the Geyser bench where new hyperspectral manipulations are programmed. Meanwhile, the Ifremer team hunts small fish. Not easy to shoot fish whose size does not exceed 2cm !!!
And it's back to Madagascar. For the last evening, we anchor at the Bay of Russians where Mayeul and Jean-Pascal will celebrate their anniversaries with dignity: ¼ of a century for the first, the double for the second. Evening watered with a special gift for Mayeul and all the crazy young edge: Jerome, Hugues, Mayeul and Rafael embark on a game of surf and wake pulled by the annex under the moonlight of the Bay of Russians. The night resounds with their shouts of joy and we distinguish their silhouettes evolve in sheaves of fluorescent plankton. Magical !