Fieldwork Camp 2023

On the long road north I stopped in at Minilya by the river, as I always do, to visit a tree which I painted over 30 years ago. Still going strong though like the coral reef; some parts die off, others thrive and new shoots appear in unexpected places.  I arrived eventually to find Coral Bay virtually deserted. Very hot and humid but little wind, making it easy to put up the tent and then build the “Taj Mahal” of large tarpaulin over the top. Every year it is a little different, it’s tweaked here and there but the basic layout remains the same. I have a good little camp kitchen with 3 burner gas camping stove and a bar fridge. A large trestle table for working on the underwater drawings or doing some painting when the wind blows too hard, downloading photos, and just day to day stuff. Much use made of milk crates, indispensable construction items and carry-alls. The boat is out of storage and I have taken it for a run to blow out the cobwebs. As usual with any boat laid up for a while there are teething problems. This time the GPS was not functioning. I need it to find several of my sites so hours were spent fault-finding and then splicing in new wiring from switch to unit. All fixed and now good to go. Time to have an in depth look at the state of the coral in the area and begin to visit the coral sites which I have been monitoring. This will be the 23rd year I have returned to document their evolution, I hope I will not be too disappointed.

Tree on the river at Minilya
Painting of a tree on the river at Minilya