Sunday 16th November, on board the Airaha 2.
Sunday, a day off?
The atmosphere at land base camp is somewhat peaceful. It is not a non-working day, but the excitement of the first days has disappeared. We can feel the expedition is coming to an end. We will be leaving in three days for Kaimana, before continuing to Sorong, then Jakarta.
Tonight, to mark the end of our stay, those who wish to dive board the Airaha 2. Seven of us get on board. The ship will sail towards Tumbu-Tumbu during the night, stay there for two dives, and bring everyone back the following day to prepare for dismantling the land base camp.
The day was good for the occupants of the Airaha 2. Yos, Ucu (“Ootchoo”), and Gofir, our Indonesian colleagues, had the pleasure to plunge into the diving world with a closed-circuit dive. Régis supervised the dive and everything went very well. He accompanied our colleagues one after the other for half an hour to the depth of 28 meters. Yos came back thrilled by the experience. Régis showed her the utmost care. She enjoyed not having to worry about anything during the dive. The preparation of the equipment is complicated, but everything is simple during the dive. The oxygen content adapts automatically to the depth.
Tonight, for dinner, the cook Jacques prepared a coconut crab. This strange creature has the head of a spiny lobster, the claws of a lobster, the body of a crab, and the legs of a sea spider. It is quite big and weighs a good 3 kilos. Its flesh has a taste as unusual as the creature’s appearence. By the end of the meal, there is none left.
(translated by Lara Denis, L2 SVC–Life & Earth Sciences–UM2, France)