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Monday, 17 December 2001

We postpone SKP2, but what does the rest?

Two weeks before departure I made the very harsh decision to postpone the entire expedition!
We didn’t had all our official papers, necessary to conduct research on the island, some sponsors redraw their commitment because of the 11th September event and the financial risk to strand for one week in Sana’a was simply to big. The entire team had put all their free time into the preparation of this expedition and the fact of postponing it was very hard to all of us.
The filming team, Prof. Dr. Christian Robin and John Farrar; all initially part of our team did go the Soqotra without us. This again had major consequences for the financial part of our expedition.
Hopefully I can proof the team I made the correct decision!

Saturday, 24 November 2001

Science and politics

Normally we decided to take the new cave radio, made by Herman Jorens and Erwin Lockhorst with us, but because of the unstable political situation we don’t.
I also gave a lecture at the Scientific Caving Day (Han-sur-Lesse) in French, titled: “Soqotra Karst Project, Recherches Karstologiques sur l’île de Soqotra (Yémen)” (=karstological research at the island Soqotra).

Monday, 15 October 2001

Friends of Socotra

Rik and I went back to Edinburgh (Scotland) to assemble at the general meeting of the Friends of Soqotra (FoS). This was also the perfect opportunity to meet John Farrar again. Saturday we had a marathon meeting and Rik got his change to show the English version of his new film. Sunday we enjoyed the Royal Botanical Gardens, surrounded by playful squirrels. I also loved the live-music of “The Roots” in a small local pub!

Sunday, 30 September 2001

SKP2 plans take shape

At the National Caving Congress in Heure (Belgium) we made some publicity for our second SKP-benefit-evening. At this meeting Erik Claes gave a splendid slide show, Rik Martens presented officially his film “Soqotra, pearl in the Arabian Sea” and I talked a little bit about our next ambitious trip to the island. More than 300 people enjoyed the adventure with us and all support goes straight into SKP2. Thanks for all your support!
“America under attack”, hopefully this will not make things to difficult to go back to Yemen this year?
29th: SKP-benefit-evening. Rik presents his Film, Erik his dia's. It was a success. 300 people wanted to live the adventure with us. We thank our friends and relatives for their support.

Monday, 27 August 2001

National Geographic and FoS initiation

A small summary of our first expedition is published in National Geographic Nederland-België. Many thanks for the interest and respect for our work, we will probably bring more exciting news in next years edition. Sorry for our foreign friends, we will try to publish worldwide in the future?
On Saturday 25th I will give a brief lecture about the importance of our work at the inaugural meeting of the Friends Of Soqotra at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh.

Friday, 13 July 2001

SKP: the movie?

We made our first contacts with the well known cineast (in the cavers and recently archaeological society) Philippe Axell, from Axell Communication. During our next expedition a documentary will be made about the island and its secret underground treasures.
If you want to know more about this film, or if you feel like this is the change to immortalise your commercial name/logo, then you can be our SPONSOR!

Saturday, 30 June 2001

Intreaging archaeological remains...

Some archaeological finds look more interesting than we thought. The results will be published soon. We will inform you on this website when everything is studied and published. We will make sure that, in cooperation with the concerned official bodies and the Yemeni Government, all artefacts and surroundings will be protected.

Sunday, 20 May 2001

SKP website = a must...

Our new website is partly updated. We would like to apologize to all people from whom we 'borrowed' some internet-pictures to put on the previous site. This site is only in English for the moment, our Dutch speaking friends and all French cavers will have to wait a little while. On our new website we only show pictures which were taken by the members of he Soqotra Karst Project!

Wednesday, 25 April 2001

SKP goes International!

After more than six months e-mail contact with John Farrar, he and his wife Rose came to visit us in Ghent (Belgium). We all got the know each other in a Belgian pub between some strong Belgian beers and we visited the biggest cave in Belgium: 'la grotte de Han-sur-Lesse' in the Ardennes.
It was marvellous to actually meet our new team member ‘John’, who will join our next expedition at the end of this year.

Saturday, 3 March 2001

First Belgian Cave Exploration Meeting

Great to collaborate with this first new "Belgian Cave Exploration Day" meeting.
Still rather small scale, but at least very interesting and high level!

Saturday, 17 February 2001

V.I.P. !

First diapositives are scanned by the winner of our post-card contest: Van Immerseel Paul, to whom we dedicated the VIP-room in Giniba-cave. Thanks Paul! The first topographic cavemaps are made.

Saturday, 10 February 2001


Local journals spread our news and even National Geographic (Benelux) shows interest!

Thursday, 1 February 2001

Adaptation as a way of survival

We try to rehabilitate in our western society, which is rather tough when one’s mind is already back on the island. We are currently processing all data. Our more than 7 hours of digital video footage is quite awesome. The pictures, around 3.000, are just great. This was only possible through our exquisite team.

Saturday, 20 January 2001

Our first SKP-expedition results!

We safely returned from a fantastic, two week exploration journey on Soqotra. The island is really incredible and the discoveries are very rewarding:
We discovered gigantic cave systems (approx.10km) of which we mapped more than 8km in detail (with only two tape-measurer's of 20m each?!?).
We found an underground waterfall (approx. 4 l/s) under the dry and barren Deksam-plateau. This certainly opens possibilities for new freshwater resources.
We took biological samples for further research at the University of Ghent (Labo of Ecology) and abroad. One cave revealed some potentially interesting archaeological remains. We will tell you more about this subject later.
Again, many thanks to all members of the EPC and Biodiversity Project in Soqotra and in Sana’a and to all sponsors, volunteers, friends and family who made this expedition possible!