OceansWatch expedition updates

03 September 2013
03 September 2013 | Honiara
31 July 2011 | Vanuatu
20 December 2009 | Mooloolaba to Opua
18 December 2009 | Mooloolaba
30 November 2009
30 November 2009
23 November 2009
18 November 2009
17 November 2009
17 November 2009
17 November 2009
16 November 2009
06 November 2009
06 November 2009
06 November 2009
06 November 2009
01 November 2009 | Cairns


11 September 2008 | 15 32'S:168 08'W, Pentacost

This morning I ate breakfast with a machette and winch handle ? Yesterday a woman visited us and gave us 2 mud crabs that she had just collected from a nearby Island. In return we invited her on board and gave her some sugar (that I had been itching to get rid of!) and a pair of reading glasses. The crabs are collected at some risk as the mangroves they are found in are also where the saltwater crocodiles hang out! One mistake grabbing a crab can result in the loss of a finger and not watching your back can be much worse! 2 weeks ago a middle aged guy was taken by a croc about 40 miles south of Kavieng so ReefCheck is not without it's risks! The crabs were delicious. Leila and I had a quick trip ashore after breakfast to take glasses to the school teachers and I managed a visit to the Island canoe builder. Irene and I then spent ages in the dinghy trying to find a suitable ReefCheck site outside the tambu (protected) area. We ended up having to completely circumnavigate Nonovaul Island and spent an hour extricating ourselves from dead end channels amongst the coral and sea grass beds before we found deep water in the Strettin channel. Eventually we found what we needed I.E. 2-5 m of reef without too much current.

Our site was well away from Magic Roundabout so we brought her around and anchored in 20m. By the time we had set the transects we had 4 canoes moored alongside. Word had spread that the yacht had reading glasses on board so Leila once again had to be the OceansWatch optician!

The Reef was beautiful with lots of healthy coral, plenty of fish and interesting starfish and nudibranchs but had few or the ReefCheck indicator species. We were helped on this survey by Keithson from Mousau Island as well as Jonah and a friend from the Nonovaul Fisheries Management Committee. Jonah's friend used a home made mask made from an old tyre, glass he had found thrown away and a large pipe clip! We had Jonah for dinner once again and were encouraged to hear that the school kids had already collected 86 batteries from the reef after my talk yesterday and a little encouragement from some treats we had left the teachers to distribute.

9/9 This morning we all went ashore for a meeting with the Fisheries Management Committee and a school visit. As usual in the Pacific everyone was ? hour late and even then the church kept gradually filling as I talked. This meeting went nicely as the committee were well informed and very interested in what we had to say.

After the talk we had a lovely school visit and I did a talk to the younger ones. Of course the kids were a bit shy to ask questions but some of the teachers shared their stories of what the reef was like 20 years ago which was fascinating. As in every community we have visited the fishing has been getting worse for as long as people can remember but thankfully they are all waking up to the fact in time to do something about it. This feels like a good time for OceansWatch to have evolved, there is much we can do to help.

We surveyed the marine reserve reef in the afternoon and were very pleased to see how healthy it was. We saw species here like the Barramundi Cod that none of us had seen elsewhere in the Pacific. The reserve has been in place just 3 years but is already flourishing. Jeges saw a person sized shark so Irene may have been looking over her shoulder more than usual!

After the survey the canoes started visiting! It was non stop until well after dark. At one stage Magic Roundabout had 14 canoes alongside with 26 visitors! ? the village must have visited over the 2 days we were at Nonovaul. The reading glasses we had were very well received so THANKS VERY MUCH TO SANDRA KEEFER and her team in San Diego for collecting them all.

8-9 This morning we met with John Aiini from Ailan Wareness who briefed us about Nonovaul Island where we were headed in the afternoon to do some ReefCheck surveys with the local Community. NonoVaul has been working with Ailan Awareness now for several years so will be an important learning experience for us. Coming with us on this leg of the trip will be a local man from Moussau Island called Keithson. Keithson is very interested in marine conservation and had sought us out when he heard that we were in town. Moussau is in the StMatthias Islands wher the locals are all Seventh Day Adventists so do not harvest the fish for personal consumption. We had been looking forward to going to Moussau but unfortunately can not on this occasion. In the afternoon we headed for Nonovaul Island and set the anchor just as the sun went down.
Vessel Name: Magic Roundabout, Cat Knapp & Anna Rose
Vessel Make/Model: Sweden Yachts 34, Anna Rose '43 yacht
Hailing Port: Whangarei, NZ
Crew: Chris Bone, Irene Llabres, Katherine Rainone, Anna Pohl
Permanant skipper Chris is a professional yacht skipper and runs a yacht delivery company- Pacific Yacht Deliveries. He has been an environmental activist for many years, including 2 years as a skipper for Greenpeace on the yacht Vega. [...]
The long term use of Magic Roundabout was donated to OceansWatch to carry out Marine conservation and provide humanitarian aid to the coastal communities in the Pacific. OceansWatch has set up an ongoing training system for yachties and divers to monitor reef health throughout the Pacific using the [...]
Home Page: http://www.oceanswatch.org
Magic Roundabout, Cat Knapp & Anna Rose's Photos - Main
OceansWatch team sailing to Opua
16 Photos
Created 14 June 2009
Work on the Magic Roundabout and departure from Whangarei
15 Photos
Created 8 June 2009
Pics of the 2009 project crew
4 Photos
Created 9 February 2009
A selection of pictures from our 2008 Vanuatu project
10 Photos
Created 1 August 2008
Reef Check training with Reef Check Australia in the Ha'apais April 2008
12 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 13 June 2008
Delivery to Vanuatu
2 Photos
Created 12 June 2008

Oceanswatch Expeditions

Who: Chris Bone, Irene Llabres, Katherine Rainone, Anna Pohl
Port: Whangarei, NZ

Current Position

In close co-operation with the world's yachting community OceansWatch undertakes marine conservation projects and undertakes humanitarian aid in developing countries. To join OceansWatch visit www.oceanswatch.org
For more information about our work visit www.oceanswatch.org