All the staff are now here (from left to right): Rita Bento (outgoing scientist), Matthias Hammer (expedition leader), Jean-Luc Solandt (incoming scientist), Catherine Edsell (expedition leader in training).
Did you hear Jean-Luc mention the words “field ID test”? How are your Reef Check studies going?
We’ll see most of you tomorrow morning in Dubai, and Antonia, Amran, Sondy and the crew of the Sindbad, our research vessel, in Khasab.
I am now all packed to go with (from left to right)
Paperwork, of course. I hope you have yours ready. You will need to bring your checklist and PADI statement (and if you don’t know what I am talking about, then you had better read the dossier again, because you won’t be diving without a PADI statement or a valid diving licence, for example).
Buffs. If you don’t know what this is, then watch www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewVEK-AElDY. People find them very useful for diving, for example to keep hair out of your face. As you will see, I do not suffer from this problem 😉
Underwater magnifying glasses?! All will be revealed in due course.
Snazzy Swarovski Optik binoculars. For our sooty falcon work.
Of course there’s lots more gear, but this is all safely stored in Dubai. Remember that you need to have your diving gear serviced if you have not used it for a while. Otherwise I hope your packing is going well.
I’ll be in Muscat for a few days before getting to Dubai. The mobile number I will have in Dubai for about 36 hours before assembly is xxx. This is for emergency purposes only (such as being late for assembly).
Hello everyone and welcome to the first entry for our Musandam expedition diary. I am Matthias, your expedition leader, and founder & executive director of Biosphere Expeditions.
Not long now until the expedition. I will be a few days ahead of you, first in Dubai and then in Muscat, progressing our plans for a marine protected area with decision-makers and officials in Oman’s capital.
I hope your preparations are going well and you are SWOTTING UP ON REEF CHECK as you should – see your dossier as to why.
I look forward to meeting you all at the Dubai assembly point as per the dossier. Some of you will meet us in Khasab instead of Dubai and if you are PLEASE TELL ME NOW so that I can make a note. Otherwise we’ll be looking for you in Dubai, which will hold everyone up. If you are coming to Dubai as per the dossier, you do not need to tell me. I’ll just assume you’ll be there.
A map of proposed survey sites is below.
Now for the changes: Rita Bento has found love and is moving to Brazil. Congratulations for your wedding and all the best for the future. We have parachuted in Dr. Jean-Luc Solandt, our old friend from the Maldives expedition and coral reef expert from the Marine Conservation Society, to pick up the baton as expedition scientist. He certainly knows his fish and invertebrates and will put you through your paces.
Apart from looking at corals, we’ll also help out with birds, sooty falcons to be precise, this year.
I’ll be in touch again from the ground in Muscat, if not earlier, and with my mobile phone number in case of emergencies.
Until then, enjoy your packing and safe travels.
Dr. Matthias Hammer