Two Amazing Adventures

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We swim with the friendliest giant mantas in the world, and go face to face with great white sharks. Read about our experiences, guest comments and more here at the Nautilus at Sea blog! Plus special editorials by Captain Mike.

Stranded tanker Sichem Osprey refloated after grounding on remote Clipperton Atoll. The French navy reports that the vessel was towed off the barrier reef after lightering soyabean oil, tallow and xylene onto a second tanker. The hull was intact and the 2009-built ship was able to continue on to Mexico without any environmental damage. March 9, 2010.

March 9, 2010 Written by

PHEWWWWWW!!!   We have been feeling sick about this ever since the Sichem Osprey grounded on our favourite atoll on February 10th..  We were especially nervous when the tsumani went through.   Hard to believe that the Eitzen product tanker managed by Glasgow-based V.Ships Shipmanagement  ran onto the island at full speed and I can only speculate on what must have been going on (or not going on to be more accurate) in the wheelhouse.      The double hulled, 25,431 dwt tanker is under Maltese flag with a crew of 19 and was heading from Panama to South Korea when the grounding occurred.

We could all too easily imagine the horrendous impact of 10,000 tons of xylene or soyabean oil on the 5,000,000 land crabs and 500,000 booby birds on the atoll,  the green moray eels that are free-swimming EVERYWHERE you look  (and even coming out of the water to chase the terrestrial land crabs!!!  yes, I saw that with my own eyes 2 years ago!!), the endemic Clipperton angel fish on the outer reef and the Canadian geese bobbing around on the inner lagoon.    It has been a frightening time and we are extremely grateful and happy about the good outcome.

Kudos and job very well done to the government of France, the French Polynesian authorities who administer the island and the salvors working under the supervision of Svitzer Salvange.   Stay tuned for reports from our next Clipperton expedition.   Captain Mike

Guest log –>>   Roca Partida, Socorro Island.  March 8, 2010.  Rough seas but great diving conditions with water temps 76 degrees

Saw four nice hammerhead sharks at Roca Partida today, a little bigger than the fish in Kentucky! Getting back into the boat was like an amusement ride. Very exciting!

Although it was a bit like a washing machine at the surface, the depths were calm, clear and full of splendid animals! Had four great dives today, and we’re looking forward to four more tomorrow. Here’s to the continued hope of humpback whales!

Premiere journee a Roca partida, ce petit caillou perdu au beau milieu de nulle part…
Apres une premiere plongee pour apprivoiser le lieu, ce fut un veritable festival.
Jojo le merou (3m selon certains…) viendra vous accueillir a 30m sur la face ouest du rocher au milieu d enormes bancs de poissons en tout genre….
La pointe nord, quant a elle, est gavee de pointes blanches sur 15m et il vous faudra aller titiller les 40m pour trouver les marteaux…superbes rencontres!
La face Est sert plutot de dortoir a requins avec ses nombreuses etageres..
Bref un veritable festival…vivement demain qu on remette ca…
A visiter egalement : orgie entre murene et pointes blanches, une honte!!!! Pour la troisieme plongee, a voir la sieste des requins, sieste crapuleuse a 10 requins colles les uns contre les autres, surveilles par une grosse loche, qui nous suivait pour verifier si on ne les derangeait pas.



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