Bastian our dive instructor continues his adventure on Cocos island.
Todays mission was cleaning old wood residues from Chatam station. While doing this, one of the the Biologists that helped us got injured with a stainless steel nail in his foot, just pointing out, this happens when you walk around the wilderness or specifically wood wastes(with steel nails) with scuba boots!
After the clean up it was time to go back to Wafer Bay, but we where not going back with the zodiac, this time the plan was hiking through a 2.5km trail that connects both of these bays, which by the way had an amazing and breath taking view.
Once we got back it was time to continue with the painting of the bridge for a little bit, but by the time I realized it was time for dinner and then laying back and resting.
Finally, after a long day of work the walk-in bridge is finally ready and after paint dries off its ready to get back in use. Well deserved some time for a kayak-out and some apnea action at Gissler Rock and relax for the rest of the day.
Continued repairing the boat trailer, this task takes time because before painting and welding the axel back in place it needed to be scrubbed from all the rust that has, after a long day the trailer is 60% ready, hopefully in the next days we will have a brand new boat trailer to be used.
Finally finished with boat trailer, after it dries its going to be ready to get back in use to toe the zodiac´s in and out of the water when maintenance needs to be done. Time to see how much it will last in these rough conditions of the Island.
After lunch the next task was setting up thruster protection on Coco´s patrol, this needed to be done in order to prevent water of going in with a lot of force into the turbo jets of the motor. Once our mission was accomplished its time to refresh and get ready for a nice warm dinner made by our lovely cook Martita.
Its day off for volunteers. Guillermo Blanco, another veteran in the Island proposed a hike up to Cerro Yglesias, which is the highest point the Island. The hike is a rough path of 6 km approx. In which we immersed our selves for 8 hours in the lush and dense forest of the Island. Beautiful and panoramic views impressed us, and not to forget walking through one of the lowest cloud forests in the world, if not the only one, located 400 meters over sea level, and most ironically in a tropical island. Wonderful experience to remember.
Work starts a with Group of investigators from Cimar, Migramar and UCR all monitoring behavior of reef and pelagic species in different locations of the island. First mission was setting trap cameras with bait on Dirty Rock and Viquinga and diving these 2 spots doing counts and transects on reef and pelagic species.
Back at the station somebody needs to take care of filling tanks and equipment maintenance order to continue with the missions over the next days, and I was in charge of this task.
Once again setting trap cameras and diving in 2 new different spots, this time Aleta de Tiburon and Dos amigos was the choice. Really tough days of diving, my self and Isaac, the chief of the rangers, had to go for a 3rd dive in the day to recover one of the traps that got ripped of from line, really close to our maximum contingency level we reached a depth of 36 meters (diving on nitrox 32%) and spotted the trap on sand patch and successfully recovered it and brought it back to the surface. The whole time our theory was, well ¨the trap line got caught on a rock with the strong current and ripped of¨, what really happened? Once we got back to the station we went over the the footage and for our surprises a big Tiger shark was the responsible for tearing apart the line and actually placing the whole camera structure in the place where we found it, and by the way a much location from the original dropping area. An amazing and surprising way to end our day.
No diving today, a different mission assigned today. Monitoring pelagic species, setting 2 trap cameras 3 miles off shore in 2 different locations, This took us the whole day out in the ocean, but luckily we were prepared and brought some snack a cards to play and entertain ourselves while waiting for cameras to record for a couple of hours, and then picking them back up. After this long and demanding task time to go back to the station and have a nice refreshment and a small bite to eat, and why not a short Apnea session.