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Voyage of the Odyssey - INDIAN OCEAN

  • Indian Ocean - Red Sea Passage : April 2004 - May 2004
  • Indian Ocean: June 2002 - August 2002

Relive the experiences of the crew and scientists on this epic journey encompassing the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and the British Indian Ocean Territories.
Click on each image to see a larger photo and the written transcript of the log.

You will need the Real Player, to watch video or listen to the logs.

LATEST LOG from the crew on the Red Sea Passage - Indian Ocean leg.
June 1, 2004
'Indian Ocean Report'
"After a five-week passage from the Maldives, the Odyssey arrived in the Mediterranean Sea and the Port of Marmaris, Turkey. As we prepare for our first research leg in the Mediterranean, the crew is taking time to reflect on the incredible journey and achievements of the Voyage in the Indian Ocean - the third largest ocean in the world - where as unbelievable as it may seem - cetacean research is a rarity."
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May 23, 2004
'The Suez Canal'
"At few days ago in Port Suez, the crew lifted anchor to motor up the Suez Canal - a manmade aquatic 'super highway' that funnels ships between the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean."
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May 17, 2004
'Dolphins and Boobies in the Desert Sea'
"The Odyssey crew is currently sailing north up the Red Sea - a body of water early traders and explorers making their way into the Indian Ocean, called the 'Route of Spices'. Although named after the red pigmentation of Oscillatoria - a genus of blue-green algae, the Red Sea appears anything but red, and ranges from deep green offshore to light aqua along the coast."
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May 6, 2004
'A 'Killer' Visit'
"At 10 am this morning, the wind speed picked up, the whitecaps steadily increased in size and number and the swells moved to the north with greater energy. At 11 am, Chris called down from observation watch - 'I see several blows off the port bow at 2,000 meters.'"
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April 30, 2004
'The Gulf of Aden'
"We are sailing the waters of Yemen and the Gulf of Aden. The Gulf of Aden is a 600 mile long corridor that connects the Arabian Sea to the Red Sea. At the entrance to the Gulf, the island of Socotra stands like a sentinel. Once within 100 miles of this 70-mile long island, the number of seabirds visiting Odyssey increased dramatically."
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April 25, 2004
'Passage Through the Arabian Sea'
"The Odyssey crew left the Maldives last week after two months of research. We are currently embarking on a 1200-mile passage across the Arabian Sea in the northern Indian Ocean before sailing 600 miles down the Gulf of Aden to Djibouti - a tiny country the size of Massachusetts nestled between Somalia and Eritrea at the base of the Red Sea."
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August 1, 2002
'The Indian Ocean'
"The best time to sail west across the tropical waters of the Southern Indian Ocean is during the months of June through September when the trade winds are most settled and steady. The Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans all experience trade winds at different times of year, north and south of the equator and along the tropical belt, between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. The southeast trade winds are formed by high-pressure systems that relentlessly move from west to east across the vastness of the Indian Ocean."
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July 29, 2002
'Indian Ocean Whale Sanctuary'
"In 1979, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) declared the Indian Ocean north of 55 degrees south latitude as a whale sanctuary. At that time, most Indian Ocean populations of large whales had been well and truly devastated by commercial whaling activities."
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July 21, 2002
'Crabs - Putting on a New Suit'
"Beachcombers often mistake the perfectly intact exoskeleton (the moulted shell of a crab) for a dead animal. So next time you see what you think is a dead crab lying on the beach, take a second look. On closer inspection, you may find that it is the entirely empty, clean, but discarded armor of a nearby crab that has recently traded it in for a brand new suit of armor."
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July 17, 2002
'The Diversity of Crabs'
"When visiting the islands of the Chagos Archipelago, we always encounter substantial numbers and varieties of crabs - land crabs, shore crabs and hermit crabs. Several species are represented in the tropical areas of the world, some are small, reclusive and well camouflaged, others large, spectacular and brilliantly colored, while many exist as variations of these extremes."
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July 12, 2002
'Sperm Whales & Orcas'
"Our thoughts drifted back to the sperm whales we had left only hours ago. Sperm whales are sometimes attacked and killed by Orcas, although the size of mature sperm whale bulls, and the communal defence by healthy groups of females or young males usually keep them safe from predation. We hope they are still moving quickly and that they are now too far away to be detected by the orcas."
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July 9, 2002
'A Mystery Skull'
"We located the skull yesterday morning. It certainly did not belong to any species of baleen whale, nor was it a sperm whale or any small species of Odontocete (toothed whale) such as a dolphin. But the size and shape of the skull, and the single pair of tooth sockets situated at the tip of the mandible (lower jaw), indicated that the bones belonged to some species of Beaked whale."
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July 5, 2002
'Architeuthis - The Giant Squid'
"Most of us have a perception of this creature, that was born of the many legends and myths that have so long surrounded it. However, the truth about this animal may be quite different. Inaccurate information regarding the giant squid is often found in popular literature. So what do scientists really know about this creature? "
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June 30, 2002
'Legends of the Deep'
"Today a whale abruptly fluked and I noticed something floating just below the surface about 20 meters away. "It's a squid!" - yelled Chris from the bow. We scooped it up in our net, laid it out on the deck and found it to be a large fin, 21 inches (55 centimeters) long. It was the fin of a very large squid. Was this a fin from a species of Giant Squid?"
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June 25, 2002
'Life Rafts'
"The ocean far from shore, oceanic islands and subsurface seamounts, is a very exposed and dangerous place to live; there are few hiding places. Perversely, marine life can sometimes take advantage of certain types of human refuse. If the object floats, it becomes a shelter for larvae and juvenile fish while they are growing up in the ocean."
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June 21, 2002
'The Chagos Archipelago'
"Having already found whales off the western and southern coastlines of Western Australia and the deep ocean trenches south of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, we have just arrived inside the territorial waters of the Chagos Archipelago-a British owned territory in the center of the Indian Ocean, midway between the African continent and the great mass of islands that is Indonesia."
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June 18, 2002
'Sea Mail Service'
"Most of us have probably stood on the deck of a ship or some barren shoreline and thought about sending a message in a bottle across the sea. In some cases fortunes were made, marriage proposals answered, and rescues initiated. Although most of us probably didn't act on this impulse, a few of the ones who did were later pleased that they had done so."
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June 14, 2002
'A Port in a Storm'
"Late yesterday, we crossed paths with a fellow ocean traveller, which by its ruffled appearance was tired from fighting the high winds and seas. It was a fragile, fluttering Brown Noddy that spun and tumbled through the blustering gale in what appeared to be a desperate attempt to land aboard Odyssey."
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June 11 2002
'Shimonoseki - 2002 International Whaling Commission Meeting'
"The very nature of our work affords us minimal contact with the outside world for extended periods. During these times, we are always anxious to hear news of significant global concern and last month's International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting was certainly no exception."
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June 7 2002
'The Wandering Tuna'
"Last night we had a small group of 10-15 Pan-tropical spotted dolphins, rolling and tumbling around our bow, hitching a free ride. However at sunrise this morning, the guests at our bow were no longer the cajoling, whistling marine mammals. Instead, from bow to stern, just below the surface of the ocean, was a large school of sleek, swell-surfing skipjack tuna."
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June 4 2002
'The Threats to Pulu Keeling National Park'
"As Wendy Murray explained to us today, simply designating an area as a National Park is not always enough to protect the habitat or it's wildlife. Today 'Pulu' Keeling National Park faces many threats from the natural elements and from humans who seek to exploit it's wealth."
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May 31, 2002
'Pulu Keeling National Park - Cocos (Keeling) Islands'
"Proclaimed as a National Park in December, 1995, 'Pulu'- the Malay word for island, includes its entire 1.2 square kilometers of land plus a band of sea around the island 1.5 kilometers wide. The terrestrial and marine environment of this park contain rare ecosystems now absent from other islands in Cocos (Keeling)."
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May 29, 2002
'Farming Giant Clams'
"Recognition of globally declining stocks of giant clams prompted Paul Tod of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands to consider the potential for mariculture, a practice that once established is relatively low maintenance with high returns for both the environment and the producer."
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May 23, 2002
'Cocos (Keeling) Arrival'
"After an extremely successful, yet somewhat storm-tossed two and a half week research leg, we have arrived at our next port. Early this morning, we could see from the crow's nest (88 feet above the deck) the green hue of palm trees in the distance. We had reached the Cocos (Keeling) Islands!"
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May 19, 2002
'Surveying the New Holland Grounds'
"The Wallaby Saddle, made up of two, large, underwater plateaus - Cuvier plateau and Zenith plateau, runs through the center of the New Holland Grounds. Each of these plateaus rises from the ocean floor for 5 kilometres to within about 1 kilometres of the surface."
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