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Testimony of Emilio for the mission Expeditions in the sanctuary Pelagos: study of Cetaceans and Biodiversity, France

Mission of 7 days performed in July 2019

My participation

Groups of three people were formed each day to carry out observation shifts. A quarter lasted 1H30 (duration initially planned at 2H, but reduced to 1H30 given the concentration effort that this could represent). Each ecovolunteer made about 3 per day. The groups were not fixed and changed every quarter so that we all worked together. We were equipped with binoculars equipped with a compass to measure the course, and had a tablet with ObsEnMer software to collect observation data.

These data came from meetings with cetaceans - that each participant was waiting with a mixture of hope and impatience! - but also the census of human activities (boats around) and possible waste. The ObsEnMer application is well designed and easy to use. You would nevertheless be wrong to consider this task as boring, because as soon as cetaceans are reported, the boat begins a change of course to go cautiously to meet them, but in a great effervescence where everyone uses the means at their disposal to take photos and videos. In these moments we became children amazed by animals that some of us had never seen closely (as was my case).

Apart from the observations strictly speaking, we were involved in housework as well as in the preparation of meals. I feel very lucky because among the participants were several blue cords: we were even entitled during our stay to a risotto (thank you Stephanie and Nicole), a tartiflette (thank you Frédéric) and an excellent chocolate cake (thank you Karine)!

My expectations

I really enjoyed my eco-volunteering week for this first cetacean observation mission. In addition to these unique encounters with animals, the experience of navigation is very interesting in itself: to move and live on the boat, to observe the swell and to read the sea, to understand the maneuvers adds to the interest of the mission . The organization on board the boat was very well orchestrated

My advice

Some tips to bring less business:

- Find out if you will need white-soled shoes to get on the boat. For the end of July 2019, we were simply barefoot throughout the mission. It may be that you do not need to bring specific shoes to stay on board

- Bring your own pair of binoculars is not necessary since you will be provided one for the observations, also provided with a compass to determine the course

- No need to bring sheets or covers in addition to your sleeping bag. The mattresses of the cabins are already protected by a cover

What I retain

This mission made me live an exceptional experience: contact with marine animals that I had never approached. Staying on a boat day and night for a week is a rewarding experience. The landscapes are splendid, like the sunlight at its zenith giving birth to countless reflections glittering on the waves, sunset and sunrise, the stars after dark, beautiful coastal landscapes, and of course solidarity and conviviality on board despite a certain promiscuity

My assets

This eco-volunteering mission with Cybelle Planète is meaningful for anyone trying to commit to a more environmentally friendly way of life. The beauty of this experience motivates me to commit to daily zero waste and limit my own consumption of water and energy. Behaviors that are naturally required when on board the boat


You can contact me at the following address if you have questions: This e-mail address is protected against spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Cetaceans mission Pelagos, France

Pelagos Cetacean, France
These sailing expeditions aim to study the marine biodiversity of the open sea in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Pelagos marine mammal sanctuary. The crew records and ...
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