Into the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest and again

Into the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest and again

The M/V Bawali, our residence for the subsequent week.

Within the night, we headed to the ghat (dock) round 8 pm.  It was as hectic as standard with many individuals coming and going from ferries and personal boats, stands hawking meals, and many honking autos. Bachchu, the boat proprietor, led us to the precise place on the ghat.  The wood nation boat of M/V Bawali, our residence for the subsequent week, arrived and helped the earlier vacationers off.  Then the crew rapidly helped load all our gear and baggage onto the wood boat.  As soon as we had been settled, they crossed the channel to the place the Bawali awaited us.

Pinky and Masud on the nation boat with our two armed forest guards. Dipu is steering within the again with Sanju and Nasir is on the precise.

The Bawali, which implies wooden cutters, is a 60-foot lengthy Sundarban Vacationer boat with 6 cabins, one for every of us.  We had been initially to hitch her within the morning.  To make up time for the delay, she cruised in a single day in order that we will attain our first cease by morning.  We acquired on board, settled in and had dinner, a buffet of a number of scrumptious dishes as standard.  Nonetheless, it was a number of hours earlier than we acquired underway.  After the lengthy drives of the final days, this shall be a way more stress-free, though slower, strategy to journey.  We spent the night chatting and swapping tales earlier than delivering.  We had been nonetheless within the Pusur River head south in the direction of the world’s largest mangrove forest.

Masud measuring the elevation whereas Ira (Eera) information the measurements.

Once I awoke the subsequent morning, we had been deep throughout the forest, arriving to our objective after breakfast.  Katka is a a lot visited vacationer website within the Sundarbans and we noticed various different boats.  Nonetheless, we had been going to an RSET website contained in the forest.  I wouldn’t have a GNSS website right here, so this was my alternative to see the RSET measurements being executed.  As all the time, we had been accompanied by two armed guards to guard in opposition to tigers, sometimes yelping to scare them off.

Sanju and Ira measure the thickness of sediment that has accrued on the tile.

With Pinky and Masud in cost, and Ira, Sanju and out two boatmen helping, it went comparatively rapidly.  Masud and Ira added the measurement arm to the monument and made the 72 measurements of the elevation round it.  In the meantime, Pinky and Sanju positioned the sedimentation tiles and measured the thickness of the deposits.  The distinction between the change in elevation and the sedimentation will yield the shallow subsidence above the bottom of the rod.  Each websites had been executed by 11:30 am.

Pinky laying down a brand new sediment tile flush with the forest ground.

Because the climate turned wet, we missed the chance to go for a stroll and the seashore, and began off for our subsequent vacation spot.  The boat sailed out of the river into the Bay of Bengal and into the subsequent channel to move again west in the direction of Hiron Level. Round sundown we handed the spot generally known as Kokilmoni and hove to close Tinkona Island.

Sundown over Tinkona Island within the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest.

We waited till the subsequent morning to cross the 10-km large channel to Hiron Level.  The Bawali waited outdoors the channel whereas we took the nation boat in.  The walkway to the tide gauge has damaged since our final go to, so we is not going to go to it this time.



The walkway to the Hiron Level tide gauge has damaged since our final go to.

As an alternative, we went to the forest ranger station and began work on our GNSS.  As standard the batteries had been unhealthy and we modified them.  They lasted till the tip of October till they began failing.  We additionally introduced a modem now that Hiron Level has telephone service and efficiently acquired it on-line for the primary time because it was put in in 2012. Once we completed two wild boars had been questioning across the grounds.

Downloading a yr’s value of knowledge from the Hiron Level GNSS onto my laptop computer. It has been that lengthy since somebody was right here.

Once we completed, we took the nation boat throughout the river to the RSET workforce, who had been ending up.  All of us then took the elevated forest walkway to the commentary tower a couple of kilometer into the forest.  The wood slats are in unhealthy form and plenty of are damaged.  All of us rigorously walked over the concrete body, simply positioned by the nail heads.  It was an exquisite stroll by the forest, with a number of deer alongside the way in which.

One of many wild boars wandering across the forest ranger station.

After returning to the nation boat, I used to be shocked that we sailed upriver.  Once we continued that manner, I realized that we had been going by the maze of channels to the subsequent fundamental channel to the north.  Alongside our 1.5-2 hr. boat trip we noticed a lot of deer, a number of monkeys and a crocodile.  Close to the tip, we harvested the fruit of a golpata tree (Nipa palm), and hacking it open with a machete, we acquired to strive its fruit. We rejoined the Bawali simply in time for our standard 2:30 lunch and headed to the subsequent website.

Pinky and others on the raised walkway by the forest with its many damaged planks.

The primary a part of the trip was by a narrower channel, which allow us to watch a lot of deer within the woods.  After a few hours, we entered a bigger river a kilometer large and headed north to our subsequent vacation spot.  We stopped for the evening and arrived at Jorshing within the morning.  Pinky, Masud and Ira went to the RSET, Chris went to {photograph} the vegetation and Sanju and I went to the college with the GNSS.  After ending, the RSET workforce headed to their second website outdoors the polder. Sanju and I went to seek out Chris after which took the speedboat to the RSET among the many mangroves.



One of many many deer we noticed from the walkway and the boat.

When executed, we began the transit to our final website. Throughout the journey, we noticed monkeys within the Sundarbans and contemporary water dolphins within the giant Shibsa River. We first headied to our GNSS website within the NW nook of Polder 32, then to the RSETs on the south facet.  Our final GNSS to service on this journey can be in a main college. We walked the ½ mile to the websites and set to work, with Pinky and Ira alongside to see the GNSS website. This final website additionally went properly and we headed again to the Bawali feeling happy after tea with the headmaster.

An egret taking off within the early morning as we sail by the Sundarbans.

We’ve got now visited all of our southern coastal websites measuring subsidence of the delta.  All are on-line and transmitting knowledge again to the U.S., though one is having hassle locking satellites.  I’ll have to go to it throughout my subsequent journey right here in March.  The RSET workforce nonetheless have 8 websites to go to over the subsequent two days at Sorbhatkhali on the south facet of Polder 32. 4 are within the Sundarbans and 4 are throughout the polder.

Crusing by the Sundarbans we noticed a lot of proof of shifting channels. Right here the land is accreting and small new timber are colonizing the contemporary land

Chris and I, nevertheless, are heading residence.  First, we’ll meet the smaller M/V Mowali (Sundarbans honey collectors), to take us again to Khulna.  Then the subsequent day we journey again to Dhaka and at last catch our flight again to New York, after the required COVID take a look at.




The RSET workforce working in a rice discipline. The small fields of dense seedlings are being transplanted to the bigger flooded fields.

My GNSS community is working as soon as once more, amassing knowledge to higher decide the tectonics of the subduction zone in northeast Bangladesh and the subsidence of the delta within the southeast.  Collectively they may refine our estimates of the hazards from a possible giant earthquake in japanese Bangladesh, and from sea stage rise and local weather change in southwestern Bangladesh.  My conferences in Dhaka between the 2 service runs will assist set up new initiatives for persevering with our analysis right here.  It has been a profitable journey and I’m able to return residence.

Sanju and I met Chris as he walked again after surveying the vegetation within the space for validating his distant sensing analyses.

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