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Clipperton Expedition Day 5

A brisk wake up this morning with a fire alarm at 515am. False alarm thankfully, but the boat is HOT. The engines have been going non-stop now for 4 days, pushing against the wind and current carrying all the weight of, especially, this group. Pro cameras, geographic GPS equipment, scientific equipment, drones and more and more heavy film cameras. She’s been doing amazingly well and the weather has been cooperating a lot. All is well, the alarm went off by mistake while trying to change the temp of the AC. 

We finally saw land! 🌴 Appearing so tiny on the horizon and just getting closer and closer with it’s rock and tall palm trees, not to mention the greeting by the resident sula sula birds and the dolphins! 🐬 

The island is about 4kms wide and just unimaginably flat. Except the rock there is no other hill or anything to be seen. Such beautiful wave breaks, a rich turquoise blue breaking into  a white mist and washing up the sandy beach. No land fall today, will require some planning on it for tomorrow. Plan is to have the two land scientists, Elaine and Pascal on the island starting tomorrow morning.

We did 2 dives. Just beautiful. The corals look very different and healthy. The water is at about 82F degrees, warm but still diving with our wetsuits just to have the protection. Surges are very strong, taking us over the reef at about 5-8metres at a time and dragging us back. I termed this to Mary Poppins over the corals. We saw multiple moray eels, smallest at 2metres, and not shy, coming all the way out of their den to take a look at us. Multiple Galapagos sharks and silver tips, though juvenile and extremely cute. We even spotted two white tip reef sharks which have not been seen for a while due to overfishing. The MPA announced around the area seems to be showing it’s effectiveness already! We’ll be keeping an eye out for them especially. 

Mauricio went down on the first dive and very gracefully swapped the receiver with the help of all us divers, only at 40metres deep it was a pleasure to do. 

The reefs highest point we saw was at about 15meters, so maybe they are healthier because they are deeper too. We’ll know more later. 

My plan tomorrow is to join the marine debris team and be on the island as long as we can stay. No diving for tomorrow for me. Lots of sunscreen, a bit of body surfing/swimming and scrambling and lots of photos and walking. Will be an amazing day for sure. 

So very blessed to be granted a spot on this team in this lifetime! 

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