Florian’s on an exciting adventure! – The Gombessa Project


I’d like to tell you about a certain adventure Florian Holon has set out on, just recently. Having grown up just outside of Ajaccio, he focused his studies on his passion: the sea. From deep sea diving to the study of coral, and the preparation of his thesis, he started working with Laurent Ballesta years ago, and is now very much part of his team, who has set out to Sodwana (South Africa) early April of this year – for one and a half months.

Now, what’s this expedition about – it’s the Gombessa Project.
An adventurous and courageous team of 10-15 specialists have set out to explore, discover, view, study and film, the oh! so famous but highly rare: Coelacanthe.
Firstly, let’s situate this fish – it was believed to being extinct millions of years ago. Then, in 1938, one appeared in a fisherman’s net off the east coast of South Africa, and since, expeditions have been trying to follow trails/appearances, some successfully and others, not so much. Peter Timm underwent the experience of seeing this fish in 2000 – approximately 2 meters in length, he stated: ‘it was like seeing a UFO, without taking a photograph’, because he did not have a camera.

This is Laurent’s second journey, and this time a scientific team accompanies him. Florian assists Laurent with equipment and underwater exploration, amongst other essential tasks.

But, why this particular fish? One reason, as I have said, is the fact that suddenly its existence was revealed. Secondly, because of its rarity. Thirdly, and  probably the most important point too; this fish possesses the secrets of life itself on earth and underwater, the passage from water to earth – land transition.

If you wish to follow this expedition, you can do so through their online blog: http://www.coelacantheprojetgombessa.com/
where you’ll meet the members of the team, vision fabulous images, and observe their advancement.
I think this is a chance in a life time, and such an important opportunity for exploration, he’s a lucky Corsican, Florian!
(Arte will be projecting this whole film at the end of this year).
Best of luck to the whole team!


Photo credit: Laurent Ballesta – The Gombessa Project

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