BIOT MPA Survey Expedition 2015 - Day 7 - Ile Fouquet Boddam & Poule

Previously in this blog I mentioned finding a remnant of the wreck of the Black Rose on Moresby Island. This is around 20 Nautical Miles from where we will go Trekking today. Yet here on Ile Fouquet we uncovered some of the mystery of that wreck on Moresby. The main body of the wreck of the Black Rose is here in Salomon Atoll. But one of the cuppolas of this 60 foot catamaran has been torn from the hull and has floated across 20 miles of open ocean to come to rest on Moresby Island in the neighbouring Peros Banhos atoll. So today’s walk began just on the edge of this broken boat on the shores of Ile Fouquet…

This is a classical coconut plantation island. Coconut palm monoculture from shore to shore. Although it is interesting to see that without maintenance over the last 40 years some spindly hardwoods have established themselves amongst the overwhelming coconuts. Some truly monstrous coconut crabs inhabit the centre of this island as we do transects through it’s middle. Red eyed crabs frequently could frequently be seen in the shadows of rocks around the beautiful shoreline of this lovely island. Despite the presence of rats and prevalence of coconut palms it was interesting to see small pockets of nesting Red Footed Booby in some of the trees around the edges of this island. I wander how many more would establish themselves here if the rats and coconut palms were removed and managed.

After our trip around and through this island we motored down the southern side of the lagoon with the Trekker mounted on the boat – it will be interesting to see how these panoramas turn out. What a wonderful day – sunshine and just a light breeze. On to Ile Boddam for lunch.

Here we enjoyed the tranquillity in the lee of the wind. Sheltered by the overhanging palms on the eastern side of the island we waded in the shallows along with six juvenile blacktip sharks. I say juvenile but they were still over a meter long…

Our final island capture was Ile Poule which is a mere slip of an island on the south side of Salomon Atoll. Literally took 5 mins to walk around. Quite fun really! After that it was out over the reef (which we could motor over the top in our dinghy at high tide at 3pm) to enjoy a quick snorkel before rejoining the research vessel. Nadine really enjoyed the day…particularly watching the sharks and fish life from the shore on ile Boddam.

BIOT MPA Survey Expedition 2015