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October 3, 2012

Azores Expedition

Dateline: 3rd October 2012

The SCS Azores expedition was influenced, with devastating results, by hurricane Nadine. The plan was for two segments each of seven days, and each with five volunteers. Each segment would start with two days diving/swimming with blues and makos. The other five days should have been spent catching/releasing blue sharks to obtain DNA samples for up to 50 specimens for an ongoing research programme. The first segment volunteers got to sea for two days and saw nothing - all the sharks had disappeared! The next five days were spent ashore watching palm trees being lashed by Nadine and rain falling in tropical style.

The second segment faired better. The first two days were lost to Nadine but five days were achieved at sea. Two days were blank the other three were wonderful. On one day a blue shark and a minke whale appeared beside our vessel, and on the other two days the whole team got to swim/free dive with blues and makos to their hearts content, to a point where on the last day we had had enough and returned to harbour early.

It looks as if the sharks sensed the impending arrival of the turbulence and decided to dive deeper and ride out the storm, which is why they disappeared before Nadine arrived and took a couple of days to come back after she had gone.

A full expedition report will be posted within the next two months. In the meantime Registered Supporters should be aware that another ten day Azores expedition is planned for July 2013 to achieve some of the work that Nadine prevented. The ten day expedition will comprise

- 2 days getting there, 2 days swimming with sharks, 5 days work, one day getting back. Priority will be given to those who were on the first segment of this year's expedition.

Shark Cornwall | Richard Peirce | The Poachers Moon