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May 25, 2006

Birthday on the Ranger and diving in Elba

BY: Pilar Barros



The day began with the sun shining in Elba, a blue sky over Portoferraio. On the Ranger, we gradually woke up with the incentive of a green tin of assorted Corsican biscuits for breakfast. You see, today is my birthday. My birthday has always given me a special pleasure and the fact that on this occasion I was already thirty-seven didn’t worry me enough to diminish my joy, indeed it didn’t worry me in the least.

But if to all this we add the gift of being able to share this season on the Ranger with these loveable companions, it could be said that the day has begun in the best way possible.

The plans for today are to dive and to dive again. The intention is to complete part of our mission on the Ranger, to document the biodiversity of the underwater ecosystems of the Mediterranean with images, and that is just what we are doing.

Yesterday, as soon as we arrived at Portoferraio, our operational coordinator for diving, Thierry, accompanied by Houssin started up his special radar to find diving centres who could help us to carry out good dives and so to optimise our time and effort. The result was unbeatable and our “diving centre” and collaborator on this occasion, “DIVING IN ELBA” has some pleasant facilities and splendid diving equipment. We are very grateful to Ricardo, the guide, for all the help he has given us.

Our underwater work in Portoferraio began yesterday with a first dive guided by Ricardo. It was excellent so our expectations for today are equally good. The usual team of four divers was joined my Miguel Bosé, a lover of the sea, who is very worried, as we all are, about its deterioration. One of his great passions is diving and we shall be sharing these days in Elba with him. We are sincerely grateful to him for his kindness and disinterested help both in and out of the water.

But, what is more, for Alfredo, Concha and Maribel, today is also a special day full of unease. Taking advantage of the ideal conditions this day, location and infrastructure have offered us, they will dive with us today so as to enjoy the wonders that are hidden beneath the sea. They are very happy.

And with these good omens, the day went by as one might have hoped: good dives; good work; good companionship; superb photographs and video recordings, as well as others that will remain in our memories. All of this with the joy that comes from diving on an activity which is so important to us.

And the final stroke which brings the day to an end: “Happy Birthday” sung to me by the entire crew led (how could it be otherwise) by Miguel Bosé. What more could you ask of a day?