Isn’t it strange how six weeks sometimes feel like a small eternity? That’s at least the impression I have as my time here in Amvrakikos Gulf is drawing to an end. Once immersed in the pleasant routine of combined field and analytic work, everything else fades away and you feel like you have been here forever. Although a cliché, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this experience has paved the road for a new chapter in my life.
Professionally, I have learnt and developed tremendously, and have no doubt that this is my ‘path in life’ (to throw in another cliché). Personally, I have had a lot of fun and enjoyed every day out at sea. ‘Conservationally’, I hope that my work will make some kind of contribution to cetacean research.
On my last day we also made a second survey of the site of Kalamos, and the comparison with Amvrakikos is rather striking. This place looks like a paradise, but is unfortunately a paradise in decline, for dolphin-lovers at least. Listening to Joan describing the situation of 10 years ago, it is difficult to believe that hardly any cetaceans or marine mega fauna remain.
Being able to follow your beliefs and passions as part of your work is a privileged few are entitled. I thus feel doubly grateful for having had the opportunity to work with Tethys as a research assistant. A special thanks is due to Joan and Giovanni, whose guidance and support have made my time here not only possible but also challenging and exciting. Bon courage for next week Joan!