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The 34th Session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO that was held in Brazil through 3 August 2010, resulted in adding 21 new sites to the World Heritage List, now totaling 911 sites. Two of the new sites are some of the world’s largest marine protected areas, the Phoenix Islands Protected Areas in Kiribati and Papahānaumokuākea in Hawai’i.

Our research catamaran, the Oceana Ranger, has been studying Seco de los Olivos, a seamount whose peak is located roughly 80m from the surface of the sea, on seabeds at 400 and 700m depth on its north and south slopes. Because we are "land" creatures and to make a comparison, sometimes its easier to image a mountain of this size on land. Like these mountains, seamounts harbour extraordinarily beautiful landscapes with wide biodiversity.

Sight: when you’re at the Oceana Ranger’s bow, you can’t help looking at the horizon; it’s like the sea is inviting you to meditate. Being on board ship and feeling the movement of the waves is relaxing.

Hearing: apart from the sound of the water, you hear the crew’s laughter, especially Carlos and his “jejeje”.

Taste: the cold meats that Africa serves us at 11am are just what we need.

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