I’m Kathy, the expedition leader for the Biosphere Expeditions coral reef research trip to the Maldives this year. I’m heading off from the UK tomorrow, so just packing up, checking kit and paperwork today.
We are very lucky to have two great science trainers with us this year, Dr. Jean-Luc Solandt, from the Marine Conservation Society, and Dr. Matthias Hammer from Biosphere Expeditions. Both are highly experienced in Reef Check surveys (and surely you recognise their names from having read the Maldives reports anyway! :). Jean-Luc has been going to the Maldives for many, many years.
The learning over the first couple of days will feel quite fast-paced, but you are all in good hands as these two haven’t failed to get anyone through the tests yet! And of course you will also have swotted up on the Reef Check methodology, so you’ll be prepared….
Jean-Luc is already in Male’ meeting with local partners as we speak. He’s also set the survey route for us.
I’m just heading off to collect my newly-serviced BCD; please make sure any kit you’re bringing with you has been given any necessary once-overs, and don’t forget important paperwork such as your diving certification cards, PADI medical forms (where necessary), insurance details and Biosphere Expeditions checklist.
Happy packing and I hope you all travel safe. I’m looking forward to meeting you in Male’.
When I get to Male’ myself, I’ll get a local SIM card and let you know the number in case you need to get in touch with me. See you on Saturday!
All the best