Shark vs. Cameraman, Ancient Island, More!
A highlight of this expedition has been our interaction with the Seychellois people. I love the Seychellois—there is a sense of peaceful energy and of being at ease with nature. At the start of our expedition on the main island of Mahé we joined beautiful, experienced fishermen at Beau Vallon working their trade as beach seine netters. We sailed with highly skilled fishing boat owners to handline for bourzwa and had wonderful boisterous exchanges with stall holders in the colorful, fragrant Victoria market.
The Seychelles inner islands are the oldest oceanic islands in the world: 65 million years ago when the Indian plate separated from Madagascar, the beautiful iconic granite islands that make up the inner island archipelago were left behind in glorious isolation. The powerful connections that I had with the Seychellois on Mahé felt heavily influenced by the undeniable majesty of them being a part of these ancient islands—a wonderful thing to experience.
So it stands to reason that here at Aldabra—a much younger raised coral atoll at a mere 125,000 years old—our powerful connections are all influenced by the younger Seychellois.
The field research station here is permanently staffed by students and newly qualified specialists. They accompany us on every dive and all landings, helping to guide us, share their extensive local knowledge, and make sure that we stick to the understandably strict environmental regulations. All well educated and passionate about the ocean, they are very good divers, boat handlers, field researchers, cooks, mechanics, and more. One look at them and you know that the future of the Seychellois ocean is in very good hands!