sábado, 16 de abril de 2011

Day 1 - The Arrival

By 9 am Pedro anda I arrived to the boat of the Navy that would take us to Deserta Grande for 2 weeks of arachnological fieldwork, from which I will retrieve the data to build my Masters thesis.

We left along with 3 vigilantes of the Natural Park of Madeira, Clemente, the team leader, Manuel José, the (great) cook, and Isamberto Silva, known madeiran naturalist that a special keen for spiders, of whom we requested to have the company.

The boat trip was great, with the flat sea during all time and a sunny weather. We even saw some dolphins on the way. Because there was some morning mist in the air, it was only after some time that we could spot Ilhéu Chão, Deserta Grande and Bugio. As we were approaching Deserta Grande, I could read a mentally built neon sign on the island saying “How many spiders can you find?” and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the rocks. After we transferred ourselves to the boat and then to the vigilantes’ house at Doca, we waited a bit to start to lift some rocks in the vicinities of the house. Meanwhile, a walk around Doca, the flat piece of land created by a gigantic landslide in the 1890’s, that, according to the vigilantes, gave birth to a big wave that washed some lives of the madeiran coast. The verticall wall of rock rising behind Doca reminds us of the volcanic nature of the island as well as the power of the erosion forces, as I spotted some rocks falling from above. I rapidly assimilated the idea that collecting spiders in other points of the island will require a good shape, because the ascent to the top of the island is done through a stairway dug in the rock. It’s a 380 meters climb through the steepest cliffs called “The Vereda”. I will initiate myself to it tomorrow.

Today, because the sea was so flat, we took the time to visit an erosion cave just some meters south of the Doca, the Gruta dos Roques de Castro, from where we grabbed 2 interesting species of spiders, an undetermined agelenidae (supposedly) and a species of Zygiella that appears different from the widespread x-notata. In the rest of the afternoon, we turned some stones in the Doca, and already with some interesting specimens.

Sem comentários:

Enviar um comentário