Monday, 20 March 2017

Flyboarding in Reunion

Ever heard of a Flyboard? A type of jetpack supplies propulsion to drive a 'board' through and above water to perform a sport known as flyboarding. It was invented in 2012 by a French water-craft rider, Franky Zapata. 

pre-activity briefing with Jean-Luc Gilquin

A Flyboard rider stands on a board connected by a long hose to a watercraft. Water is forced under pressure to a pair of boots with jet nozzles underneath which provide thrust for the rider to fly up to 15 m in the air.

The design allows the device to climb out of the water and be more or less stable in the air using underfoot propulsion and hand stabilisation. 

The Flyboard is buoyant for safety, which also allows the rider to rest in the water between rides. 

In Reunion the activity is run by Jean-Luc Gilquin at the Colosse Park in Saint André, where there's one of the island's few inland bodies of water suitable for this type of activity. (It can't be done over the sea due to the water sports ban currently in place in Reunion due to the shark situation).

you can see the hose clearly in this photo

In the photos you can see my husband, with the results after about 15-20 minutes of getting used to the device.

To find out more:

Sunday, 12 March 2017


Fronted by Gilbert Pounia, Ziskakan are one of Reunion's best known groups. They formed in 1979 and their style is maloya, to which they add modern techniques as well as some Indian instruments. They have toured abroad extensively: USA, UK, Belgium, IndiaMauritius, Seychelles, as well as mainland France.

Here they are yesterday playing one of their most famous songs: Bato Fou.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Diving the Antonio Lorenzo

I did my second dive on the Antonio Lorenzo yesterday; the first was in October 2013.

The Antonio Lorenzo is a 53-metre Chilean longliner which lies at a depth of 38 metres in the bay of Saint-Leu

On 1st September 1998 it was caught by a French patrol boat illegally fishing in French territorial waters 120 nautical miles from the Kerguelen islands in the southern Indian Ocean. Its holds contained 100 tonnes of Patagonian tooth fish. It was brought back to Reunion, where arrived on 14th September. On 16th December 1999 six holes were drilled into its hull, and it was sunk as an artificial reef at Pointe des Chateaux.

It lies on its port side, which explains why the mast sticks out a 45° angle. I'm afraid I'm not much good with technical language for vessel elements, so I can't label what different parts are called.

this almost looks like a coral reef but is part of the vessel
a last, somewhat ghostly, shot as we started ascending

me with my SMB during our 10-minute safety stop

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Interview on

Last month I had an interview published on the website (formerly known as 

Entitled Reunion Island: Love at first sight I discuss my love for Reunion's lifestyle, natural landscapes, and its ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity.

So if you want to know (amongst other things) what brought me to Reunion Island, a useful tip for soon-to-be expatriates on the island, and how easy it is for an expat to live here, read the interview here!

Plaine des Sables

At Grand-Etang 

In Saint-Pierre town centre

See also:

Saturday, 28 January 2017

3 more podcasts about Reunion

I have 3 more podcasts about Reunion available (see here for more about the podcast concept):

The first one is Don't Be Leave, where I talk about how I reacted to Brexit.

(See also here for a video of me talking on the local TV channel, Antenne Réunion (in French) about the same subject.)

The second one is Lost In Paradise, in which I talk about the concept of paradise and exoticism.

The third one is Fifty Shades of Black, about a very memorable trip I made a few years ago to the  Piton de la Fournaise volcano during an eruption.



See also:

Podcasts about Reunion

Saturday, 24 September 2016

September 2016 volcano eruption

The Piton de la Fournaise eruption that took place from September 11th-18th was very image-friendly: weather was generally good, and it was visible from Piton de Partage or Pas de Bellecombe. So local photographers were able to shoot a wide range of photos and films, some of the best of which are below. (I took my own pictures when I visited on September 16th/17th, but they're not as good as these!)

© Gaby Barathieu

© Gaby Barathieu

© Gaby Barathieu

The night of September 16th coincided with a full moon.

© Luc Perrot

Reminiscent of Mordor ? © Luc Perrot

This satellite photo was taken on 11th September by the 
Landsat 8 (USGS/NASA Landsat) satellite

© Le Redac

Alain LeRedac also filmed this video:

Quand le soleil a rendez-vous avec le Piton de la Fournaise from @LeRedac from Reunion Island on Vimeo.

© Dronecopter Jonathan Payet

September 17th at 1:30am © Dronecopter Jonathan Payet

Jonathan Payet recently won 3rd Prize in the Nature & Wildlife Category of National Geographic's 2016 International Drone Photography Contest with this picture taken during the brief eruption that took place in May 2016.

© Dronecopter Jonathan Payet


Sunday, 18 September 2016

Recent Piton de la Fournaise eruptions

The Fournaise is one of the world's most active volcanoes - in the twentieth century for example it erupted 72 times - that's once every 16 months on average. Below is a list of its recent eruptions (since 1998).

Eruption of Piton de la Fournaise (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before the eruption in 1998 which lasted six months there hadn't been one since 1992. Altogether there have been 300 recorded eruptions since the island was inhabited in the mid-17th century (and probably a few more that went unrecorded in my opinion).

Start Date: 2016 September 11 - Stop Date: 2016 September 18

Start Date: 2016 May 26 - Stop Date: 2016 May 27 

Start Date: 2015 August 24 - Stop Date: 2015 October 31 

Start Date: 2015 July 31 - Stop Date: 2015 August 2 

Start Date: 2015 May 17 - Stop Date: 2015 May 30

Start Date: 2015 February 4 - Stop Date: 2015 February 16

Start Date: 2014 June 21  - Stop Date: 2014 June 22 

Start Date: 2010 October 14 - Stop Date: 2010 December 10

Start Date: 2009 November 5 - Stop Date: 2010 January 12

Start Date: 2008 September 21 - Stop Date: 2009 February 4

Start Date: 2006 July 20 - Stop Date: 2007 May 1

Start Date: 2005 October 4 - Stop Date: 2006 January 18

Start Date: 2005 February 17 - Stop Date: 2005 February 26

Français : Contact entre la lave et l'océan. U...
Piton de la fournaise eruption, lava reaches sea 26 Feb 2005
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Start Date: 2004 May 2 - Stop Date: 2004 October 16

 Piton de la Fournaise eruption, 2004 © Serge Leplege

Fournaise eruption reaches the sea, August 2004 © Serge Leplege

Start Date: 2003 May 30 - Stop Date: 2004 January 10

Start Date: 2002 November 16 - Stop Date: 2002 December 3

Start Date: 2002 January 5 - Stop Date: 2002 January 16

Start Date: 2001 June 11 - Stop Date: 2001 July 7

Start Date: 2001 March 27 - Stop Date: 2001 April 4

Start Date: 2000 June 23 - Stop Date: 2000 November 13

Piton de la Fournaise eruption November 2000 © Serge Leplege 

Start Date: 2000 February 14 - Stop Date: 2000 March 4

Start Date: 1999 July 19 - Stop Date: 1999 October 23

Start Date: 1998 March 9 - Stop Date: 1998 September 20 (?)

Source : Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian Institution which lists all known eruptions for the Fournaise.

See also Reunion Island Geological Information Center for up-to-the minute volcano information in English and live webcams.

Follow this link for my photos of the January 2002 eruption.

English: Eruption of Piton de la Fournaise, la...
Eruption of Piton de la Fournaise (Photo credit: Wikipedia)