Sunday, May 04, 2008


I've got lots of pictures! I've started a separate blog for the Canadian Field Studies in Africa adventures I was part of earlier this year. Check it out at

Thursday, January 17, 2008

And we're off!

I have no pictures. Sorry about that. Tonight we leave for a looooong travel day to Entebbe in Uganda. From their, we will spend the night in Kampala, and then head out to Kibale National Park for our first module of the program. I can't say if I'll be able to update this. Apparently, internet access is not only spotty, but mostly dial-up. I'll do my best though. There is suppose to be a general blog that will hopefully be upkept by the hard working people here in Montreal, so you can try that as well.

Ciao! And stay warm to all of you still in the grips of winter!

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Latest in Kenya

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So I am hoping to maintain this blog while I am in Africa for about four months. Original plans had us in Kenya, but with the political unrest, that will no longer be happening. For now, it looks as though we will be heading straight to Uganda and then to Tanzania and the island of Zanzibar. I hope to keep this blog updated with pictures and posts but that will depend on the computers available and the internet access! I will keep all two of people who look at this blog up to date ;-)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hurricane Dean

A hurricane came through! The centre ended up passing north of us, hitting Martinique, Dominica and other islands quite hard. Barbados ended up with the equivalent of a tropical storm. Still, we loaded up on canned goods, washed all our old bottles out and filled them with water, and hurricane proofed the apartment. One of the coolest things about the place we are staying is that the living and dining are are open. The front door is a grate, as is the main wall facing the ocean. This means we get fabulous breezes and can hear the ocean all the time. This also means that if a stom comes through, wind and rain go through the entire area. The kitchen and bedrooms are closed off, but we still shut all the windows and shutters, and brought everything inside.

Everything was fine. The worst of the storm passed through during the middle of the night. We did dive Thursday morning though, and the ocean was getting incredibly choppy and the current was picking up as well. On Saturday morning, when these pictures were taken, it was quite a site. Our little beach where we load our boat was gone. The reserve, which normally has no waves, looked like a good beginners surfing point. The holes had all overflowed as well, so Katrine and I went for a walk with our cameras in their casings. The water coming out of the whole was almost like a slick. Much yuckier than the last time the hole broke!

In the end, everything was fine. The electricity didn't even go out!

Don't mess with mother nature.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Other World

The ocean is a whole different world. If you haven't seen BBC's Blue Planet, check it out. There are eight episodes, the cinematography is phenomenal, and it's absolutely breathtaking. While you're at it, check out their Planet Earth. I haven't seen it, but I will as soon as I have the chance!

First up is the dwarf wrasse. This guy was hanging out in the sand by a little rock quite close to the beach at our institute. He has the funky thing sticking out of his head, and he's got cool colours, too!

This we (out team) affection- ately call 'petit pois' or 'little pea.' It's a juvenile smooth trunkfish, of which I posted a terminal (adult) phase a while ago on my blog. Their little fins flutter incredibly fast, and they just sort of booble around in the water. If a damselfish attacks, they just end up rolling around.

This, when we are doing intrusions, we call a b-bot, or blenny bottoms. There are many different species, and they are small (2-5 cm), so if we had to go down to identify each one, we'd miss other intruders in out damselfish territories, as well as affecting the normal pattern of intrusions.

The new site we've just started has lots of crabs in it, which is a lot of fun. They tend to be shy and hide in their shells if you approach them to quickly. I found these two guys, who at some point, will probably duke it out over something, like one of their shells. Talk about growing pains!

This is a secretary blenny. They hang out in tiny holes in coral, and just stick their heads out. They are so cute!

Last, but not least, is the yellowhead jawfish. Thanks to Ian Popple and Matt Chapman for telling us that there are a fair number of these guys right at the buoy where we moor our boat. Today, Sylvain, Sebastien and I dropped the girls of to work on their mini-project, and we moored the boat, dropped down, and then swam back. When we got down there, we found a decent size sea cucumber as well. The jawfish hide, but if you hang out and don't move around too much, they eventually come out of their holes, and hang out above them vertically. I was too far away to try flash, and any colour correction I tried ended up looking weird.

Anyways, the ocean is full of amazing things. There is an enormous worm called 'The Thing' and it can apparently get up to six feet long!! No wonder they call it the thing!

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Katrine found some beautiful hibiscus (at least I think they are), so I took a pretty picture to make you all wish you were down here with me :D

Friday, August 10, 2007

Broken Hole

In Barbados, there are these things called 'holes.' They are brackish, freshwater pockets right by the ocean. One hole near our current site is the roosting place for egerets. This past Tuesday, after a long and rainy night (and morning), the hole near our site broke. In other words, it overflowed and went straight into the ocean. The white-ish foam in the ocean was the line of where the hole had overflowed into the ocean. The problem with the holes is they stink, and have all sorts of lovely things in them (like sewage and other icky things). Needless to say, we were already on stand by since there was thunder (no diving during thunderstorms!), and the hole put the dives on hold for two days. It happens every year, and apparently, this year wasn't so bad - usually the water is more brown!