A day at ANET field station

This year, a summer intern from IISER Tirupati, Narola Harsh helped me with my fieldwork. Despite having an interest in physics, he somehow landed at ANET field-base to assist me with my work. Harsh stayed at ANET for 20 days. This is Harsh’s account of his stay at ANET.

Guest post by Narola Harsh

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Narola Harsh in front of ANET library

Unlike on the mainland, I didn’t really need an alarm to wake up as Benjamin, a stout-fancy-colourful rooster who was also patron to most other chickens you would see around, was very punctual with his routine.

Beautiful cock profile isolated in white

Benjamin giving wake up call just outside my cottage

I’d get out of bed, open the window and see the sun shining quite high for eight in the morning. Strangely, my cottage had two doors on opposite walls and large windows on the rest of the sides. It is most probably a Karen-style cottage.

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Karen-style cottage at ANET field station in the Andaman Islands

I’d bathe and head to the kitchen which, apart from being a regular kitchen, serves as a good TT and hula-hooping point, viable gym and occasional dance-floor. Post-breakfast, I’d go to the library which is apparently the only place here with a lock on the door and is locked every night as well. The library used to be my regular workspace here throughout my stay and the best part about it is that, due to the wooden floor, you can hear people coming in and going out. If you’re more careful, you can tell precisely who the person is no matter where you are sitting. In addition to the reference books on various topics, this place has a shared bookshelf which has collections ranging from nationalist (or rather anti-nationalist) Arundhati Roy to Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt.

 

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ANET library

Next to the library is a small ground where we’d play volleyball in the evening, generally starting around five-ish and going till the ball is no longer visible. To be honest, that was the best pastime during my stay.

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Volleyball session at ANET

Volleyball was occasionally followed by quick workout sessions next to the kitchen that I never really joined. Later in the evening, I’d go back to the library, and stay there until dinner time. Post-dinner we’d go to the mangroves, capture a fish and set up a device that records the sounds the fish made, which is otherwise inaudible to humans. After an hour or so, we’d collect the device and that would be the end of a regular day.


 

 

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About Vardhan Patankar

I pursue reef and marine mammal related research with a critical eye and a fine-tuned appreciation for weirdness. I am particularly fascinated by marine life that exists within coral reefs, but observes life outside the reefs with just as much wonder and amazement.
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