Angarosh reef - 11/11/12 - written by Steven Kessel
As I write this we are currently sailing south for Port Sudan. We left at about 16:00 and we should get into Port in the early hour of the morning. Fortunately the curse of the boomer has passed, the seas have calmed down and we even have a tail wind from the north to help us on our way. The last day of field research has been a great success. We began the day with an early morning Dive on Angarosh to assess the shark situation. The current had changed and as a result the shark had descended into deeper waters. There were a few grey reef sharks at around 40 m and the hammerheads had descended a little deeper to below fifty. Still we were able to rest on the edge of the second plateau and watch them swimming in the blue. Always amazing to see.
We decided to have one last attempt at catching some grey reef sharks for tagging. We deployed the fishing gear while the other team range tested the north acoustic monitor. Claudio was fishing while we drifting at the site for smaller fish. He quickly hooked one up and before he could reel it in it was taken by a shark, with only the head of the fish remaining on the hook. We saw this as a really good sign, but unfortunately this was the only shark action we would see today. We were prepared for this as all shark fishing on this trip was preliminary and we knew from the start this was not the season for sharks. Still we are encouraged by the amount we saw in this offseason and we are confident that we will succeed on the focused shark tagging trip early next year.
After lunch we headed to Abington Reef where we deployed and range tested the final two monitors without a hitch. Every reef seems as beautiful and healthy as the last here, this really is an incredible marine environment. Job done, we returned to Elegante, secure all the gear and set sail for Port Sudan.Tomorrow we have to stow the remainder of the gear at the various storage locations and hold a stakeholders work shop to update all on our progress. Then in the afternoon we begin the long journey back to Canada (and the various other locations the team member travelled from – the UK, Saudi Arabia and Italy). Turning in for the night. We will send one final log update to summarize the research trip after all is said and done.