The largest suitcase belonged to JBL Manger Roland Böhme, who was returning to the site of the first JBL expedition after 10 years. The reason why: The test case, Lux and UVB measuring devices, lots of materials for recording results and other items, plus the measured values obtained 10 years ago.
(Photos: Falk Lehmann)
During the 10 days in Manado, neither he nor the 10 travel companions who had been on expeditions in the past and were unable to keep their hands off of the test cases delighted in testing the water levels at any conceivable place.
Whether it be hot sources, streams, puddles or rain water, everything was tested again and compared to the value obtained 10 years ago. If an analysis could not be performed during a dive, a water sample was taken along and checked thoroughly after the dive.
Lux measurements were not just performed in the blazing sun and the shade, but were also performed in the water at a depth of 1 - 5 metres. However, this proved to be more difficult than expected, since the sensor had to kept very still and at the same depth under water, which required lots of stamina and patience due to the currents frequently found in this area.
The most interesting change compared to earlier results became evident after measuring the temperature of the water. In 80 % of the measurements, the water temperature at a depth of 10 meters was 29 °C (in 2001, the temperature was approx. 27 °C). This is a strong indication of climate warming. Unfortunately, this warming is the reason for the first signs of coral bleaching in this region. The vast carpets of plastic waste stretching across the sea were another unpleasant surprise. Surfacing in the midst of chip bags, spray cans and flip-flops was no pleasant experience for nature-loving divers. Fortunately, the diversity of species in the ocean had not been affected by all of this.
Manado is characterised by the very small things one finds there. Such as the large number of snails, shrimp and crabs we were able to examine. The pygmy seahorses were the most enjoyable of all. These small creatures, which were even difficult to recognise when the participants had their nose almost dangling in the coral, proved to even be irresistible for the men in the group who lingered before the fan coral for some time.
The mandarin fish, which was found 10 years ago and seen several times now despite its rarity, was another highlight. JBL was able to rely on participant Christian Fels from Berlin, a pet supply store owners with ample experience in expeditions, to organise the trip.