Fabled Islands 9
April 15, 2009
After leaving Madagascar behind we sailed through the night west and southwest toward a mid-ocean reef, Geysir Reef, located about 200 km (125 miles) off the northwest coast of Madagascar at 12Ëš21â€™S, 46Ëš26â€™E (see if you can find it on Google Earth. I will when I return home). It is a large oval about 5 miles wide and 3 miles long, with exposed rocks just a few feet in height at low tide.Â The remnant of a volcanic island and reef that has since submerged, it is rarely frequented.
The name comes from the British ship, the Geysir, which ran aground here in 1678. France, Madagascar, and Comoros all lay claim to the reef.
The reef has a slightly sloping edge that drops to a sandy bottom at about 75-90 feet. A short distance out from there, it drops to an amazing 1500 feet, and then just a few miles further, it drops again to a deep trench at 10,000 feet. Truly an abyss!
We were briefed and prepared to see some larger, pelagic sharks today, but no such luck (?). Funny, at certain points in the dive several of us admitted to looked out into the murk and wondering, what’s out there…watching…
After leaving the reef and resuming course for the Comoros, we enjoyed a talk and presentation by National Geographic photographer, Bob Krist. He spoke on â€œThe Story Behind the Photos of National Geographic.â€Â Wow, what amazing photos he has captured, and the â€œschmoozingâ€ he has to do sometimes to get into places where others canâ€™t is truly amazing in its own right. It pays to have good contacts.
A short while later we spotted more dolphins, though honestly, I didnâ€™t see them. I was resting in my cabin! Man, this is great. No responsibilities, no deadlines, no pressures.
I wonder if I could make a living like this.