Happy new year everyone!

2009 was a big year for us here at the East African Whale Shark Trust. Volker qualified as a microlight pilot in June and HUGE news is that the EAWST now has its own microlight thanks to very generous donations in lieu of wedding gifts – yes you guessed it, Volker and I got married in October 🙂  we figured that rather than a gift register (how many toasters and towels do you need!!) we would ask people to make donations to the EAWST instead. We didn’t expect so many people to be so generous but it seems love was all around that day and voila we now have our own microlight!!

In practical terms this will make an enormous difference for us because we won’t have to hire a plane. It will really bring down the cost of running the expedition and we will be able to do so much more for whale sharks now that we are more independent. Effectively as soon as we know the whale sharks are around we can get out there and work rather than having to book a plane and a pilot in advance. We are also going to work with the KWS on more regular marine surveys, something we have been harping on about for years. Now it is really going to happen. So we are very excited at the start of 2010!

Just letting you know as well that we are now taking bookings for the 2010 tagging expedition which will run from February through March. Trips leave from Aqualand Watersports Centre next to Pinewood Hotel on Galu-Kinondo beach south of Diani on Kenya’s beautiful south coast. The 4-5 hour trip costs USD150 and all the proceeds go directly to running the expedition. We are already flying several times a week to check on whale shark numbers and will keep you posted. Email me [email protected] for more info on the expedition and we hope to see you in Diani next month.

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