Seahorse Research Trip
The seahorses that I have etched have all come from drawings made of seahorses in captivity, in aquariums. I was given the opportunity through ZSL way back in September 2005 to join a seahorse research trip in Portugal with Project Seahorse.
I spent a few days at the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa. The water was wonderfully warm, a real treat to dive in just a wetsuit rather than a drysuit with heaps of weights!
As soon as I dropped into the water, I was surrounded by seahorses…
As soon as I dropped into the water, I was surrounded by seahorses, Hippocampus guttulatus. My first dive lasted nearly an hour, and it was incredible too, at last, to see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat. The project was looking for seahorses which had been tagged the year before, to gently pick up a seahorse to inspect the tag and for it to wrap it’s tail around my finger was wonderful.
We also dived in the Rio Arade estuary, Ferragudo, Portimao. The visibility was poor, very silty- but again we were lucky to find several seahorses.
The Ria Formosa park is lovely, we stayed in a lodge inside the park, at night it was totally dark with beautiful stars and the smell of pine trees.
It was a truly magical experience, and I am so grateful to ZSL and Project Seahorse for arranging it.
Although I have seen pipefish in Plymouth Sound I am still hoping one day to find some seahorses there.
Here are some photos of the trip and my first few attempts at underwater photography!