Yesterday we set out on a southern course for Agrópoli in order to observe the fishing activity below a depth of 1,000 m and to make use of the Olex software, which had been fitted to the boat this year, with the aim in mind of mapping a submarine landscape in which the isobaths (lines that join points of equal depth) drop from 1,200 m to 70 m.
While Xavier, Juan and Quique are heading south, at midday, Eduardo de Ana and I head northwards to inspect the ports on the island of Ischia, where the 2005 Expedition managed to witness the presence of driftnet vessels.
Our initial course was directed towards visiting the main fishing ports on the island, namely: Ischia, Cassamicciola and Forio, with the aim in mind of graphically documenting the presence of these types of boats.
No luck this time either. Even though we imagined we would not find much activity from the netters tonight, it is very annoying to see we were correct. There is almost a full moon, and our only satellite lights up the water like the best spotlight. Perhaps that is why the netters haven’t gone out to work. It’s too clear.
Back on the Ranger. Twelve months after disembarking in Lagos after nearly half a year sailing around the world, I return. I think the boat has gotten bigger and more elegant during this time. Everything is cleaner and tidier; everything in its place, everything stowed away, “almost” nothing out of place. It seems different.
It has been an unforgettable and fascinating experience to be on board the Oceana Ranger….!
An essential opportunity offered by Domitilla and Marevivo and which gave me the chance to get to know people as fantastic, simple and splendid as the Italian coasts we have passed: three short but intense days of sailing that took us from the Roman port of Ostia, passing by Ponza Island, before arriving at the Port of Napoles where, unfortunately, my adventure came to an end.
We set off from Ostia in the early morning, after having a shower and filling our tanks.
Heading south, to the Island of Ponza, sailing along the line of one thousand metres’ depth, which is where the fishermen put out their driftnets at the end of the day and pull then in a little before dawn. This timetable permits us to document the entire process by video and photograph as, although the light is not ideal, it is sufficient for us to be able to take some photographs and film clearly, for example, how they catch a fish that is sadly trapped in this blanket of death.
Well, this is my last day aboard the Ranger before I return to the Oceana Office in Brussels, Belgium. It’s as difficult this year as it was last year to leave the Ranger – three weeks of living and working with such an experienced team of people, all of which are completely dedicated to protecting the marine environment.
Author: Eduardo de Ana (a.k.a. "Guayo") Date: June 6, 2006
Yesterday we embarked five new crewmembers: Soledad Esnaola, who crewed on the Oceana Ranger last year and who will replace Pilar Barros for a time; Juan Cuetos, a replacement for Houssine Kaddachi; Enrique Talledo, who will occupy the place of Jorge Candan during the month of June; Jose Peñalver, who also sailed on the 2005 Expedition and who will occupy the position of Alfredo Sagasti in the galley and finally, the present writer, replacing Julie Cator in communications.
Today I leave the Ranger and begin my journey home. With my bags on my back and memories in my head (and on my camera) I take one step away from the Ranger and its crew, having taken enumerable steps closer.