• Analytical Reporter November/December 2021

    First and foremost – to those of you who are reading this: Congratulations! You made it through another challenging year. If you feel anything like I do, you’ll be experiencing a mix of emotions, from sheer exhaustion and Covid fatigue, to exuberance and utter joy for being able to say: "I made it!”
    So, as we head towards a hopefully festive Festive Season, many of us will be weighing up the holiday options.
    There are burning questions on all of our lips: ‘Should I travel?”, “Will we have the 4th Covid Wave?”, “Will there be a tighter lockdown again?”, and even “Will I be able to hire a car at Christmas time?” (Car rental companies were already saying in October that there won’t be enough to go round for all the ‘wanna-be’ tourists in December across South Africa!).
    A month or so back, there was some lovely news on the radio, and I’m always keen to filter my news intake to only the feel-good stuff. It was about a walrus by the name of Wally.

    The reason I liked this story so much was that Wally, amidst our global travel restrictions, quarantines and isolation, has travelled.
    The walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) is a large flippered marine mammal with a discontinuous distribution about the North Pole in the Arctic Ocean and subarctic seas of the Northern Hemisphere.
    Wally the 800kg (125st) Arctic walrus, previously spotted in Ireland, France, Spain and the UK, turned up in Iceland, marine experts said. Wally had not been seen for more than three weeks, with spotters saying they were "starting to lose hope" of ever seeing him again.
    However, Seal Rescue Ireland said he had been seen in Iceland in late September after 22 days of no sightings. The wandering walrus was thought to have travelled 4 000km before reaching Ireland, with the new sighting in Iceland meaning he had swum more than 900km from his last known location in Cork.
    Seal Rescue Ireland said that Wally was identified after "conferring and comparing photos with our friends at British Divers Marine Life Rescue" and his identity was confirmed "based on the identification of scars on the front of both front flippers".

    Wally, thought to be about four years old, first made waves in Ireland when he was spotted in County Kerry in March, as well as along the coast of western Europe, including Spain, Tenby in Wales, and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly since then.
    To add to the heart-warming story, a purpose-built pontoon was made for him in Scilly in a bid to reduce damage he caused by climbing on boats.
    And now it seems that Wally is heading home, with no vaccination certificate or quarantine necessary. Wally is our inspiration!

    “Still round there corner, there may wait, A new road or a secret gate.” J R R Tolkien

    I’m hoping you all have a wonderful holiday and a well-deserved break.

    Until 2022,

  • Ed\'s Note
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    Moisture Analysis and Equipment
    Life Sciences
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