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Voyage of the Odyssey - Mauritius

Join the scientists and crew aboard the R/V Odyssey on its current research expedition in Mauritius in the southwest Indian Ocean.
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.


January 20, 2004
'The Crown-of-thorns Starfish - A Coral Killer'
"The other day the crew was invited to visit the Ministry of Fisheries in Albion. Several Fisheries staff spent time onboard Odyssey observing our research. Among the responsibilities of the Albion Fisheries Division is to monitor the coral reefs around the country, including the management of any threats to this fragile ecosystem. We spoke with Meera Koonjul about her work with one potential threat to the coral reefs of Mauritius, the Crown-of-thorns Starfish."
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January 13, 2004
'Preparing for Cyclone Darius'
"In the southwest Indian Ocean, tropical cyclones are described as tropical storms where estimated wind gusts range from 64 - 130 knots. Understanding the behavior of cyclones in these waters, the Odyssey crew, with great trepidation, tracked the movements of Darius as she moved southwards towards Mauritius. The following is an account leading up to Darius."
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January 5, 2004
'Saving the Echo Parakeet'
"The other day some of the crew met with a young man named Ryan Watson. Ryan has chosen to dedicate his career to the conservation of critically endangered bird species, a passion that has brought him to work for the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation (MWF) at the Gerald Durrell Endangered Wildlife Sanctuary."
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December 23, 2003
'Perspectives - My Experience as an Odysssey Educator'
"It has been such a pleasant surprise to see just how many people in Mauritius are interested in the work that we are doing and about the threats facing whales and the oceans. We constantly had a stream of interest from those wanting tours of the boat and their questions about whales answered. While in Mauritius, my goal was to give people as much information about the oceans as I can so that they can draw their own conclusions about the environment."
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December 19, 2003
'Raising Awareness in the Media'
"In order to raise awareness on a local level, we conduct tours of the Odyssey and give multi-media presentations to local schoolchildren, community members, and government officials. Also, the crew provides information about the expedition to local media - pictures, sounds, text and sometimes even video - in order share our experiences working on the ocean and the discoveries made along the way with a broad local audience."
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November 30, 2003
'Bring the Giant Tortoises Back to Aldabra'
"Today, the crew took a trip to the southern end of the island to meet an exceptional biologist by the name of Owen Griffiths. Owen owns and manages a nature reserve called La Vanille Reserve de Mascerene where he is currently breeding Aldabran giant tortoises."
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November 27, 2003
'Perspectives: Working with Animals - A Dream Job'
"G'day - my name is Adrian Howard, people call me 'Howie'. When at home in Australia, I work for the Melbourne Zoo as a zookeeper, specializing in Asian Elephants and Australian Fur Seals. I also have keen interest in learning more about marine mammals and their ocean environment - an interest which brought me to volunteer my time on the Odyssey."
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November 23, 2003
'Learning Lessons from Students'
"One of the highlights of the Voyage of the Odyssey is the opportunity to visit schools while in port and to bring children to the boat. The crew gave presentations at several schools earlier in the week, showing footage and images of the whales we saw and filmed in Mauritius waters on our first research leg."
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November 19, 2003
'The Way of the Dodo'
"The Dodo is arguably the most common icon associated with the island nation of Mauritius.Although it was only about 300 years ago that the dodo became extinct, very little is known about this bird."
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November 7, 2003
'Whales in Mauritius'
"Within 30 minutes of leaving Port Louis, we deployed our acoustic array - an underwater microphone we use to find and track whales. Less than 3 miles from shore, in over 2,000 meters of water we had our first acoustic detection. One whale became three, then five and then twelve - we were surrounded. We tracked the whales in slow circles all night - the channel lights marking the entrance to Port Louis were in constant view."
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November 2, 2003
'The Mascarene Islands - Arrival in Mauritius'
"Arriving in a country for the first time is always exciting. The crew is unsure what to expect, but the anticipation of meeting new people, visiting new places and exploring the surrounding waters, rejuvenates us all after a long passage at sea."
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October 27, 2003
'The Coriolis Effect'
"Trade winds are caused as a result of the earth's rotation. Winds run parallel in the northern and southern hemispheres along either side of the equator, blowing west simultaneously. The rotational velocity of the earth varies with latitude, increasing from the poles toward the equator and matter not rigidly attached to the earth's surface, such as air and water, undergoes an apparent deflection known as the Coriolis effect."
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October 18, 2003
'Mysticetes and Odontocetes'
"As we began our 1600 nautical mile passage from the Maldives in the Northeast to Mauritius in the Southwest, the crew sighted sperm whales, risso's and pan-tropical spotted dolphins. As the education director aboard the Odyssey, I am often asked - "how many species of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are there?"
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October 3, 2003
'Departed Sri Lanka - Crossing the Indian Ocean'
"We bid farewell to Sri Lanka with much regret, leaving an abundance of whales and many new found friends in our wake - we all vowed to return in the near future."
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