Expedition members arrived on Diego Garcia last night (13th Feb) and we all boarded the BIOT Patrol Vessel Pacific Marlin.
Today we had a welcome, and security and safety briefings from the British Representative Richard Marshall and then from Benito Casquejo , the Chief Officer of the Pacific Marlin. We are spending the rest of the day unpacking, transferring, and checking out a mountain of equipment.
Jessica and Tom checked and assembled the baited remote underwater video (BRUV) equipment and the 200kg of pilchards which had been shipped in, in preparation for testing tomorrow morning. David checked all the dive equipment and Bob unpacked the huge amount of medical equipment and liaised with the medics at the DG hospital for items like morphine which is very difficult to ship in.
Charles, Catherine, Pete, Pascaline, Pete, Heather, Nick and Anne moved various other scientific and diving equipment. Heavy work, moving compressors, tanks, boats and engines – especially in the sun. All equipment was thoroughly checked before we start work for a day or two around Diego Garcia and then sail to the northern atolls where we will continue our various research programmes.
Cable and Wireless on the island produced some great expedition tshirts for all the scientific and boat crew. The essential beer order has gone in.
After three weeks of high seas and heavy rain in the archipelago, we are lucky that the weather has turned in our favour, with calm seas, clear skies and 34oC. We are set for the first dives tomorrow.