Expedition LogBook

26.03.2012 / Expedition Logbook

Ducie Atoll is Paradise


Enric Sala and his team sailed to Ducie Atoll, the most remote of the islands of the Pitcairn Archipelago and here is what they reported. 

Ducie Atoll is an uninhabited place rising never more than a few feet above sea level. They expected to find a healthy untouched coral reef, and they definetly were right: "Ducie fulfilled our expectations. It has a healthy and gorgeous coral reef, where thriving corals cover up to ninety percent of the bottom. As soon as we put our heads underwater from the side of our small boat, our hearts went crazy. Ducie is paradise."

The team discovered a reef formed chiefly by a single species of coral of the most delicate pale blue, which grows like giant roses. They were also stunned by the most extraordinary visibility they ever experienced in their diver life – more than 60 meters. 

During the dive, the team encountered whitetip reef sharks and grey reef sharks. Those sharks are especially fast but typically not agressive. However they are still wild animals which were probably very curious about the explorers visit: "When they show signs of unease, like when a couple of grey reef sharks arched their pectoral fins and started swimming with exaggerated movements near our fish expert Jen Caselle, we just swim away, very slowly."

In the end, Enric Sala and his team all agreed on the fact that Ducie is one of the best coral reefs they have ever seen: "This place is part of the heritage of all humanity." 

The crew is now heading to Henderson Island and Oeno Atoll. Keep following the expedition on Blancpain.com and National Geographic.com