Reef Monitoring - REEF CHECK

Scientific missions Radama 2011 with the Antsiva sailboat

Location: Radama

Conducted in 2011


Expedition Leader : Jean-Pascal QUOD - ARVAM

Friday, August 12

After a quick lunch in the village of Ambatoloaka, the whole team of happy divers embarks aboard Antsiva.
Jean-Pascal, Juliette, Rémi, Alain, Alex and Serge arrive from Reunion.
Hugues and Cathy from Metropole and Alban de Mayotte.
This is a week of holidays that promises to be busy since Jean-Pascal is planning to take advantage of these recreational dives to study the installation of any Reef Check station.
No time to unpack the bags because a team of enthusiasts is immediately equipped for a first wreck diving. The Mitsio, a former shrimp boat sank off the Crater's mooring, proves to be a particularly rich dive.
Meanwhile, Jean-Pascal, Juliette and Cathy settle down quietly and try to go out in wake.

Saturday, August 13

We leave very early and arrive in the morning for the diving of Manta Point, usual place of gathering of Manta.
Everyone goes to the water except Alban who suffers sinuses and who, to forget his misfortune, immerses himself in hard work on his computer.
True to the spot, a Manta ray is at the rendezvous and majestically, evolves in front of our divers.
We arrive in the early afternoon in the Barahamamay estuary.
Immediately, kids approach us by canoe to offer us crabs. But these are too small and we prefer to wait for the next canoe. After filling up on crabs and honey, part of the team is about to explore the mangrove while Alexandre trains Cathy for a few diving exercises.

The wild equipment in the mangrove starts. We go on board the dive boat and we also pull the kayaks. For the simple pleasure of a discovery in silence.
Here the mangrove is one of the largest. It extends on both sides of the main channel which is more than 8 km long, which represents an area of approximately 15 km².
We discover it at high tide, which allows us to penetrate deeply, but unfortunately for us wildlife, it focuses at low tide.
This environment then becomes the territory of many species including the violin crab with unequal claws in males and small oysters that are found in abundance. It is also the privileged place of refuge for large green crabs (the famous and succulent mangrove crabs) whose burrows can be seen in the mud. Crocodiles still present are more rare because of the exploitation of mangrove wood. The development and population growth of nearby Nosy Be has intensified building activities and consequently the exploitation of the mangroves. We take full advantage of the spectacle of a virgin nature until dark (enamelled antics of each other) and then we find Antsiva in the sunset color beautiful.

Sunday, August 14

We leave Barahamamay at daybreak to reach our first dive spot at the southern tip of Nosy Iranja. Divers meet a baboon and have the chance to spot a zebra shark. Remi, meanwhile tickle the fins of a clown fish that seems to particularly appreciate his pink mask!
The second dive will take place on the west side facing Nosy Ovy. Diving which, in the opinion of divers, remains very rich in fish.
Then we head for Nosy Antanimoro that we will reach in the late afternoon.
It's time for Juliette to make her first dive with Alexandre and for the others to visit the fishing village with local girls.

Monday August 15th

We leave Antanimoro to reach a little further south, the beautiful site of Greg Wall. We are lucky, the weather is nice, not a breath of air and very clear water.
We anchor Antsiva at the edge of the drop and the divers go down immediately. They then discover this famous wall of giant sea fans and also spot the entrance to the cave they intend to explore during the next dive.
Cathy and Juliet stayed on the surface and can follow snorkeling the progress of the divers.
We leave the site in the early afternoon to join the anchorage Antanimoro.We leave the two annexes at the western tip of the island because the team spotted a site conducive to the installation of a first station Reef Check .

Tuesday August 16th

This morning we return to the Greg Wall site where some of the divers wish to explore the cave. The weather conditions are the same as yesterday but the tide a little stronger generates more current and makes the water less clear. These slightly less comfortable conditions do not seem to bother our experienced divers who follow the program as planned.
Once the exploration of the cave and the rocky peak are completed, we weigh anchor for Kalakajoro. On the way we make a stop on the west side of the island. There, the conditions are cooler with nice encounters.
At anchor, the whole team goes down to stretch their legs and enjoy the sumptuous beach that faces us.

Wednesday, August 17

We leave Kalakajoro around 5am to reach the "Roche Gaby" dive site. We arrive around 9:30 at the height of the tide, but once again, the strong current does not seem to disturb our divers. After lunch, a small cushy dive on Ankazoberavina where the team can perform a Reef Check station. Some lose their tablet, others, their pen ... but it's just the job that goes!
This time Juliet is part of the dive. The bottoms are beautiful and rich and shallow. What to satisfy everyone.
Tonight we anchor at the Bay of Russians. Superb site and perfectly protected.

Thursday August 18th

We start the day with a Wake Skate session. At this game, Rémi and Alexandre are immediately at ease. Alban has more trouble getting out of the water, but once launched it can no longer stop ... The toys are stored, we head to "Roland point". Located in the middle of the big bench of the entrance, the site is superb and the divers benefit from an exceptional visibility. Alain falls off in front of a giant slug, the size of his forearm. The divers are unanimous «it is their most beautiful dive» of the stay.
At noon, we are in front of the hotel Sakatia Passion located on the island of the same name. In the afternoon, we will dive on the site "The swimming pool" then we chained by a walk of a little less than two hours.

Friday 19th August

Appointment was given to the Taxi at Santi Beach. Located not far from the anchorage. The whole team board the two annexes and take the way to the airport. A last look for Antsiva who is not more than a point on the horizon ... ..

A big thank you to all for your kindness and your good communicative mood.

PS: The one who says that Juliet does not eat fish is wrongly wrong. Just prepare croquettes !!!