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Voyage of the Odyssey - MEDITERRANEAN SEAA

  • June 2004 - October 2004

Follow the experiences of the crew and scientists on this epic journey encompassing across the Mediterranean Sea - Turkey, Greece, Italy, and Spain.
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.

December 17, 2004
'An Education Visit to Lofoten, Norway'
"While the Odyssey sailed to the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, the Ocean Alliance media and education team was invited to give multimedia education presentations to local students, teachers and community members in Lofoten, Norway."
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December 10, 2004
'Common Dolphins - Not So Common in the Mediterranean'
"Over the past several months, one species of dolphin eluded us - the common dolphin. Traditionally one of the most abundant cetacean species in the Mediterranean basin, it appears that the common dolphin is no longer so common in this region."
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December 3, 2004
'The Rock of Gibraltar'
"After a 5-day passage from Palma de Mallorca, the Odyssey arrived in Gibraltar - the symbolic gateway to the Mediterranean. This marks the end of five months researching in this semi-enclosed sea. We will spend time here undergoing maintenance on the Odyssey, preparing to cross our third and final ocean - the Atlantic."
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November 30, 2004
'How Do Dolphins Sleep?'
"When giving education presentations in schools, one of the most common questions asked of the Odyssey crew is - 'How do dolphins sleep?'"
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November 19, 2004
'The 2004 ACCOBAMS Meeting of the Parties - Palma De Mallorca, Spain'
"Last week in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, the Odyssey researchers gave a presentation to the Meeting of the Parties of ACCOBAMS. While researching in the Mediterranean Sea, the Ocean Alliance's Voyage of the Odyssey partnered with ACCOBAMS - a collaborative agreement designed to help share ideas and scientific data gathered on sperm whales in the region."
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November 3, 2004
'Navy Sonars and Whales'
"Man-made noise in the oceans, including navy sonar, is identified as one of a suite of threats to the long-term survivals of the world's cetaceans. The use of of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) sonars has coincided with mass beaked whale strandings around the world."
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October 22, 2004
'Disentangling Sperm Whales from Driftents'
"According to a summary of records from the waters of Spain, France and Italy between 1971-2003, 229 sperm whales were reported as entangled in fishing gear, carrying entanglement scars, or stranded as a result of being entangled - a stranding rate among the highest in the world. Dr. Antonio Di Natale of the Genoa Aquarium discusses his experiences freeing sperm whales from driftnets."
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October 18, 2004
'Walls of Death - Driftnetting in the Mediterrean'
"Because driftnets are generally deployed in the open ocean, they are likely to entangle large pelagic species, including whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles, rays and seabirds. Populations of these animals are particularly vulnerable to excessive losses, as they are generally long-lived and reproduce slowly."
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October 7, 2004
'An Encounter with Long-finned Pilot Whales'
"It was late morning when the call came down from the observation platform - "pilot whales at 2 o'clock, 800 meters". We turned toward the group, realizing there were actually three groups - each several hundred meters apart."
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September 28, 2004
'Greyhounds of the Sea - The Fin Whale'
"Early in the afternoon we spotted a tall blow on the horizon, too tall and vertical to be a sperm whale. Sperm whale blows are low, bushy and angled to the left - this could only be a fin whale."
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September 20, 2004
'Arrival in Genoa, Italy'
"The Odyssey has arrived in Genoa, Italy to begin its first research leg in Italy"
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September 8, 2004
'Conservation and Tourism at Loggerheads - Zakynthos, Greece'
"Nesting turtles prefer large tracts of flat uninhabited beach. Unfortunately, so do the tens of thousands of tourists who flock to Laganas Bay in Zakynthos every summer. The summer is also peak nesting and hatching season for the loggerhead sea turtle. This fateful convergence is threatening this turtle with extinction."
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August 24, 2004
'The Grecian Sponge Trade'
"For the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, organizers ensured that more than 10,000 sponges be available as gifts for important guests in addition to the tens of thousands currently sold on the streets all over Greece. However, there are not enough Greek sponges to go around."
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August 17, 2004
'Dolphins & Greek Mythology'
"Poets, scientists, philosophers and artists from seafaring nations around the world referenced this remarkable group of animals for centuries, perhaps none more so than the Greeks who had a particularly strong affinity for dolphins."
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August 10, 2004
'International Whaling Commission Meeting 2004 - Sorrento, Italy'
"Since the establishment of the IWC over half a century ago, the threats to cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) have expanded and diversified in ways that few envisaged, highlighting the need for a shift in focus of the IWC. Today, the numerous threats to cetaceans include by-catch and entanglement in fishing gear, prey depletion through over fishing, manmade ocean noise (including shipping, seismic and navy sonar testing), ship strikes, habitat degradation, the effects of climate change, the accumulation of high levels of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP's) and whaling. "
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August 2, 2004
'Sperm Whale of Southwest Crete'
"Late yesterday afternoon, we sighted our first Mediterranean sperm whales off the west coast of the Greek Island of Crete. In near perfect sea conditions, we tracked the group for almost forty minutes until the cessation of regular echolocation clicks through the acoustic array signaled the beginning of their ascent - the crew was instantly aloft. Our first two sightings were a rare treat; both were of mother/calf pairs."
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July 23, 2004
'The Mythology of Odyssey'
"It seems most appropriate that the Research Vessel Odyssey is in Greece - the origin and setting of the ancient poem by Homer that gives our boat its name. While we may understand a little more about the ocean today than the ancient Greeks did, the seas still hold for us the same spirit of adventure and mystery they did back in the time of Homer, more than 2500 years ago.
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July 15, 2004
'The Sea in the Middle of the Earth'
"The crew of the Odyssey is excited about researching in the Mediterranean Sea. The tissue samples we collect from sperm whales will reveal much about the accumulation of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in these animals and the health of the Mediterranean Sea as a whole. We are very interested to compare the results from samples collected in the Mediterranean Sea with those from other, less populated areas."
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July 7, 2004
'The Mediterranean Monk Seal'
"The Mediterranean Sea is home to the most endangered pinniped on the planet - the Mediterranean monk seal"
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June 28, 2004
'Exploring Turkey'
"After being hauled out for two weeks conducting maintenance on her steel hull, the Odyssey is almost ready to return to the water. During this time, some of the crew has taken time out to explore Turkey."
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June 16, 2004
'Haulout in Turkey'
"Before we begin our research in the Mediterranean Sea, the Odyssey must be 'hauled out'. After two and half years and 37,000 miles of research in the Indian Ocean, the Odyssey is once again in need of some maintenance, particularly in relation to her hull."
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June 7, 2004
'Fishing for a Scapegoat - Are Whales Competing with Fish for Dwindling Fish Stocks?'
"Most people assume that whales are saved because of the worldwide moratorium that has been in place since 1986. They are unaware that: 1) whaling continues today; 2) it is on the increase; and 3) that the whalers are currently killing four species of large whales."
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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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View reports from the previous leg travelling the Red Sea Passage from the Indian Ocean
 
 
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