We had spent the week anchored in Santa Margherita harbour with access to the shore via the zodiac, but now in Bastia we are moored in the harbour. So beeline to the harbour showers for all of us to get refreshed and clean – on the Ranger there is only a makeshift cold shower on the deck. And we are also connected to a mains water supply, which means a chance to catch up on the cleaning – both inside and outside the Ranger are now sparkling. And while the divers head off for the day, other household tasks get done: washing our clothes, making an excursion to the laundrette with all the bedding, catching up on the shopping of food and other supplies. Carlos and the Captain, Jordi, carry out necessary maintenance and minor repairs.
Other essential tasks for me include mailing CDs of the underwater photographs and video footage back to the office for them to distribute and replying to all the e-mails that of course never stop arriving while I am out of the office.
And being on shore is a chance to talk to the people that work in the marine environment. Thank you to Xabi Reinares, from Neptune Plongee in Bastia and Bastia Sub, who is also a Coastguard, and who took the time to show us around the customs boat and to explain the work of the coastguard from monitoring fisheries activities, to preventing smuggling, to patrol the marine reserves, to detecting pollution from ships. And thank you also to the local fishermen who answered my endless questions.