24 June 2008 | 15 32'S:168 08'W, Pentacost
25/6 Pouring with rain today and that means no surveying as the visibility is too bad and light poor. We did some fish ID training and caught up with some paperwork. Some of the crew went fishing as we are in need of protein!
24/6 We departed Asanvari at 06:00 and headed south to Pentecost, land of the original bungie jumpers! First stop was an unidentified village that Chris wanted to check out for an anchorage, if our destination Laone was untenable however it was not very secure so we headed straight to Leone. Katie, who speaks Bislam well introduced us to the local Chief, who was interested in what we were doing and promised to send us some helpers. We headed to the beach just after lunch and were encouraged that 10 locals had turned up and were very enthusiastic about the idea of the ReefCheck surveys. We paddled or swam to the outer reef at a small tabu area where we set up a short transect and did some ReefCheck training. This was a very nice shallow reef, with lots of invertebrates, including a few lobster. After the training we sailed to Latong where the anchorage is a lot safer. As we entered the pass I spotted a Dugong. We went ashore to meet the locals, who were very welcoming and inte rested in our work. We had a walk and got back to the dinghy as the fireflies came out. It reminded me of Greece many years ago!
23/6 Today we sailed to Ambae Island to pick up Katie Thompson from Vanuatu Fisheries. We left early and got back at sunset.
22/6 This morning we lugged our tanks across the Island to the West side and had a very interesting SCUBA dive. We started a ReefCheck survey but could not complete it as the currents picked up too much. There was very good fish life here and lots of live hard corals with very little damage. We encountered many good size Grouper, Snapper and Parrot Fish. This area is only fished when the trade winds abate. In the afternoon we gave a talk to the village about what we had found. We look forward to returning to Maewo next year to carry our more detailed surveys and see how the tabu areas are developing.