When you finally set up camp and get started

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Monday was the day of exploring the station, fitting gear and for some to gain their first snorkeling experience in the bay of Fetovaia. After a brief first breakfast together — brief because our supplies at that moment were rather “basal” — we were introduced to the research station by Doro and Stephan, part of the team that runs Hydra. They first provided us with mask and snorkel, wet-suits and fins. The wet-suits were 6mm thick, great to spend an extended time in colder waters, but less compatible with elegance. It took a good hour to equip everyone with a suit, but then it was time to hit the beach. There, everyone had enough time to get both familiar with the equipment and make the first contact with the marine fauna and flora of Elba. For many it turned out to be a bit sportier than expected. Some legs turned tired and some eyes met more seawater under the mask then was hoped for. Still, we experienced a wealth of fish, sea urchins and algae – and the first plastic in various forms. One thing on day 1 of our research trip became obvious immediately: there was no need to search for plastic contamination, it was everywhere and it found us.