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[Ashmore Trip 1] Day 13: Browse Island and Onwards

June 3, 2013

[This is the thirteenth in a series of ‘Ashmore Trip 1′ posts, essentially diary entries. Internet was unavailable at the Ashmore Reef, so they are being presented one-day-per-day now that I am back in Melbourne.]

19/04/2013

09:02 -> Arrived at Browse Island around 02:30 this morning, dropped anchor and sat until dawn, when the Counting Team went ashore. I slept through ’til around 07:00, when I was woken by other Seabird Team members going for a snorkel.

Browse Island is another small coral-sand island, about 200 metres long, but this one rises more steeply than Cartier, and is vegetated. The Australians have built a light-house on it.

After seeing jellies from the foredeck and deciding against snorkelling, I went ashore for around 30 minutes with J to beach-comb. The coral debris here is larger and coarser than on Cartier, and the beach is absolutely covered with turtle tracks.

JL, our plastic pollution expert, has collected plastics here too – an impressive haul. She’s made a point of photographing all the recognisable brands – I gather the aim is to lobby for less-persistent packaging on consumer goods.

We’ll sail now to Caffarelli, arriving around 20:00, and then overnight to Adele.

18:26: Have been under sail the whole rest of the day. In the early afternoon we passed a sand cay (unnamed on our GPS units other than ‘sand cay’) with substantial bird activity around it. There is talk of including this cay in future surveys. We’re nearly at Caffarelli (say ‘Kafka Rally’ and you’re only a k over), where we will pick up some additional team members (left on the island earlier today by another vessel), anchor until around 02:30 tomorrow, then sail back to Adele for an 06:00 start.

Adele is considered tough work. People are advised to carry six litres of water, each, per day, and do not necessarily think this is all they will drink.

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