Denise was marked by a group of three whales that suddenly jumped about ten meters from the boat. For Beatrice, it was also whales, a female and her baby, who played near the bow during the whole time of her picnic on the deck. Every eco-volunteer of Cybelle Planète keeps precious in him his "beautiful meeting". Denise Defranoux (57) and Béatrice Bringues Prando (68) are each on their fourth mission. Every year since 2012, they board (separately) from Hyères, Sète or Calvi aboard a boat equipped for oceanographic observation missions. Their role ? Count and observe the behavior of cetaceans in the Mediterranean. In addition to whales, impressive, but not shy, dolphins, pilot whales, sperm whales often cross the sailboat route. It is these exceptional moments, as well as the feeling of being on vacation while having the feeling of being useful, which gives Denise the urge to come back every time. The same goes for Beatrice, who also enjoys the pleasure of sailing and the solidarity between volunteers from all walks of life and of all ages. Watchdog or housekeeping, the crew (5 to 6 people) divides the tasks and can even be associated with navigation maneuvers from time to time. "We must love life in community, warns Beatrice, but I love it. And I am perfectly accepted by young people, because I cook well! "
These Mediterranean expeditions are the flagship missions of Cybelle Planète. "They represent 40% of departures over a year," says Céline Arnal, oceanologist and director of the association. The rest of the ecovolunteers flies to the four corners of the planet: in Thailand in a sanctuary to cure elephants, in Florida in a protection center for felines or in Mongolia to monitor the horses of Przewalsky in the wild steppes. They travel at their own expense (but Cybelle can organize transport) and pay a contribution ranging from 234 euros (for 14 days of work in a rescue center of the Wolves in Portugal) to 2060 euros for two weeks of watching cetaceans in French Polynesia. Two-thirds are donated to the partner of Cybelle Planète who manages the project locally. The association keeps the rest for its operating costs.
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