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October 14, 2016

Passing the torch on

BY: Pilar Marín


Beirut skyline and flying fish


Today was a kind of strange day. For those who have been on-board since the start it’s a day off and, for those like me and Javier Camarena who are new to the expedition, it’s a day spent doing paperwork in the port.

Jorge passed the torch to me so I could continue to help Riki and now I know how I have to collect the samples, where all the liquids are kept to be conserved, how to label them, and how the CDT and Olex work – everything a campaigner on-board ought to know. But, he did forget to give me the instructions on how to work the washing machine!

On my first campaign day, bureaucracy kept back on land and from leaving with the rest of the crew so we had to remain on-board the Sea Patron for at least another 24 hours. So, it was time to get familiar with the equipment and the crew.

By the way, we also have two more scientists on-board: Dr. Ghazi Khaled Bitar y Ali Souhel Bader El Dine, both are experts from Lebanon who will help us to better identify the species we find in the area.

As it’s my first no-board diary I’m going to give you a bit of background on this campaign as it’s very special to me. After a long journey here, this project finally brings our MedNet proposal to life. The story behind this goes back to 2011 when the Lebanese Ministry of Environment got in touch with Oceana to collaborate on a potential project. A long time passed – 5 years – and thanks to the work and effort of many involved, we’re now on-board the Sea Patron exploring the underwater sea caves in Lebanon!