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Clipperton Expedition Day 1

Out at sea today. We left the port from San Jose del Cabo at 1015pm last night and have now been sailing for 16hrs. Good news is we wont need to make a stop at Socorro, and will be heading out directly to Clipperton. We should be there by noon on May 3rd. That’s about 90hrs, better than the 100hrs we thought it was going to take us. 

This is a great boat, very roomy and comfortable. We have a desalinator onboard, which is the A+ that means we can have as much fresh water right from the ocean as we want. The food is fantastic – prepared by Chef Felipe, photos pending. 😉 

The entire team and crew are a hoot and amazing to travel with. So much passion for conservation and love for the ocean aboard, we cant stop talking! <3 It's both relaxing and energizing to be surrounded by people who share the love and know about the situation much much more. 

The knowledge that is traveling out there, the firsts that will be accomplished, and the shining personalities only add to our collective excitement for arrival.

We had our ship briefing, an amazing lunch, a dive briefing, got to set up our dive gear, and do a mandatory fire drill with the traditional group photo in life vests. 🙂 

Also had a presentationon the history of Clipperton. The island has been claimed by Spain, then France and then the US during WW2 for it’s location to Pearl Harbor etc. Apparently there isnt much left of the lighthouse that the Mayor hid and lived in between 1914 and 1917 after killing all men and ‘owning’ all the women and children. The story is that the men had died when they were trying to swim to boats, either eaten by sharks or drowned. Last year the crew on this expedition also has to swim in and out the same reef and thankfully they werent eaten by sharks. Back in 1914 all remaining men were killed by the Mayor. He then ‘ruled’ the women for 3 years with pistols and threatening the lives of their children. In July 1917 the women finally decided to crush the mayor’s skull after which they were found and rescued by an American vessel to be taken back to the mainland. How they survived 3 years at an elevation of 6ft and with only rain as their drinking water with no grounds to grow anything is a question only answered by our imaginations. And we are after precious daylight time to learn about the island and its surroundings precisely 100 years later. After that the island saw the American soldiers during WW2 and it’s been uninhabited since 1945. We will go and see the rock, the infamous ‘highest point’ on the little island. We are told that the people buried their dead around the rock, and thus nobody actually climbs it. There is apparently an old rope that hangs from it, we are asked not to climb with it, for safety reasons. Just wouldnt want to hit the history books saying we didnt attempt to because we didnt want to, it was only because it’s part of our expedition conditions. 😉 Otherwise I am sure we would easily get a team photo on that rock with this group. Given the distance to the nearest safety vessel none of us will do that, this time. Our curiosity is towards the depths than the heights, anyway. 😉 The lagoon is more within our area. We will have more to report on that, though again we are asked not to swim in it. We do have our rules but the best part is that we are encouraged to take photos of every thing, especially the marine debris and remnants of Fish Aggregate Devices (FAD) and other fishing items. 

Our type of fun during the trip is just recounting amazing stories in the field, jaw dropping encounters, photo sharing, watching films made by the team and reading. Surrounded by nothing less than underwater genius! 

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