Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Are we there already!?

“Are we there yet?” Parents know that question all too well. As a kid I remember the internal frustrations and angst stirred up with those words, not just in the anticipation of the end f the journey but sometimes in fear of the reprisal from your parents. Still, as a kid one could not help ask that question. Some of my fondest memories are of those long journeys to the ocean - the peering over the hills the closer you got in the hopes of being the first to see the sea. Oh the anticipation as a kid was almost too much to bear and asking “Are we there yet?” just the most natural thing in the world to do, regardless of the emotional consequences (or those that might end up on your backside! ;)

Full dinner table!

Coming and going emotions – if I can call them that – are part of life for everyone. “Oh I hate goodbyes...”, and whether you say it out loud or keep it to yourself, you are of course experiencing those come and go emotions. And though many hate and ovoid the “saying goodbye” moments, I have learned to embrace them. Embracing these emotions is akin of emotional maturity even if one does not quite understand them they do remind of life and living.

Our season is just about at an end. We have had our farewell dinner, said our goodbye’s and some have already gone their separate ways. We are all left with our memories, making of them whatever we want – good or bad, happy or sad.

The 2013 Interns!

One thing is certain, time brings change and “Are we there yet?” has changed to “Are we there already!?” and how subtle but mature that change and shift in life is!

Wish I could stay just a little bit longer…


The 2013 Team Leaders!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Storming action

Quick update...

Francis and I scanning the water while keeping an eye on the weather

Today was not for sissies. Francis, flying his Gyro and I got chased back to the airport after spending as much time with the boats as we could. He was just doing it for the fun so sneaked back a few minutes earlier than I did. As he said, “I don’t want to get too wet…” :)

With rain coming in on the right it was a run over those clouds and the island back to the airport.

It was a hard and fast run to make it back - even if it was 20 k's away. I still got somewhat soaked. The storm actually moved past the airport to the south but our survey area was flooded. The interns said they took the boat passengers to snorkel at the Four Season but they refused to get in the water since it was pouring with rain. Hehe… :)

Even with two aircraft patrolling the oceans we didn't see any sharks which was a bit disappointing but certainly there was no lack in action.

Wish you were here!

No, its not a hangover!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Squeaking tires...

Dirk was beaming from ear to ear. He had just walked through the door after his afternoon flight. As usual he had a bag with some snacks and groceries but I could not help notice the two empty beer bottles in his hand.

“We got 5 sharks this afternoon!” He said. OK, so perhaps the empty beer bottle weren't the reason for his happiness – or at least all of it. “It was amazing!” He continued. “This morning I got 1 shark but this afternoon we got 5.” He was shaking his head in a kind of elated disbelief. “Five!” he said again, this time with more emphases. Of course given the recent drought of whale sharks this was good news.

“Awesome!” I answered enthusiastically before settling in to listening to Dirk.

According to him the interns and clients are going to sleep well tonight, some most probably were going to be sore too – they had a lot of encounters so were clambering in and out of the boat all the time. It was great to hear – nothing like a good bunch of encounters to lift the spirits of everyone.  What made the day even more special was the fact that the wind was just 5 knots. In these light wind conditions flying becomes more a pleasure than work and Dirk made full use of it.

“Jis!” He says with boyish enthusiasm, “I have forgotten how fast the micro-light lands when there is no wind. The wheels made the same noise as a Boeing!” and Dirk whistles his rendition of tires hitting the runway. I of course have a good chuckle. It is so good to share in his happy state.

Wish you were here!


PS: Savvi just popped in inviting us to the bazaar. He too is in a happy state and sure is looking sun-burnt!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pretty woman and chocolate éclairs...

“Does it have a chocolate filling?” I asked while pointing to one of the long bread-thingies covered in a layer of chocolate.
“Oui” she said. I had to admire the perfect French accent.
“Great! Can I have one please?” I smiled being all warm and friendly. Her mannerism and dress was more akin to a secretary rather than working the bakery till. My admiration came with a slight tinge of sadness too as I remembered that once, some time ago, someone had told me too that I was a “lucky ‘bastard’”.

She sure was pretty.

It was lunchtime and I was doing my usual routine but for the discovery of the new bakery that had just opened next to my favourite take away shop. Moments ago I called Sam with the news that once again there were no sharks. (Dirk and I actually feel quite guilty to call Sam with the news of no sharks – her disappointment is rather disheartening!) Of course it is not just Sam that was being effected, the interns too were feeling frustrated. After starting on such a high, the lack of sharks over the last week and half have put a slight damper on things.

“That will be 30 rupees” she said while her eyes locked on mine. They were emerald green and exquisite, the beauty not lost on me while I fumbled through my pocket for some money.
“Thank you” I said before adding, “and I wish you all the success with the new shop.”
“Mercy” came her reply. Ah, there was that perfect French accent again. Taking my chocolate éclair in its pretty box I walked out of the shop.

Later on, back in the hangar I shared lunch with Donn – he was a Captain in the Seychelles Air-force. We often have a good chat and over the years have built up a good friendship. Of course he could not help admire the tempting and enticing look of the chocolate éclair and what a rare find that was on the island.
“Talk about tempting” I mentioned. “I have to tell you about the pretty lady working at the bakery…” Soon we were discussing the merits of admiring a beautiful lady. Suddenly Donn looked at me with a grin before adding, “Well, at least you could take the chocolate éclair home with you…”

Wish you were here!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Aware are you Romeo?

Savvi and I

The other day Savvi and I was driving home after a day’s flying and I tuned into BBC. I think Savvi was perhaps not as pleased about the BBC thing but I think he was being very polite about it. They were talking about the distinguishing emotions between animals and humans. One guy mentioned his sense of nostalgia was what made him different to animals. That there were a few different kinds of nostalgia but in essence, an animal can’t become nostalgic. Another said it was the degree of love or the degree of hate that makes us different. It of course was my cup of tea and could not help but go along with the train of though. The fact that we are very different to any other animal on this planet is unmistakable – of course many arguing that we are the worst of the animals on the planet, with good reason too. However the fact that we are different was not the debate but rather the range of difference that separated us from all other animals.

“I can sit and think. I know that I am a human being. I know I have a choice to act accordingly.” I asked while looking at Savvi. Personally I thought it was being aware or knowing about the sense of Self that made us so different. And as I said being able to exercise a choice – this choice is the very thing with the potential to makes us the worst – or the very best, kind of beings.

Savvi was being quite unresponsive so I continued, “Does a dog sit and think, ‘I am a dog. That’s why I act like a dog.’, or, ‘I like being a dog but I’m going to act differently!?’” This time with a bit more persuasion in my voice.

“I guess” Savvi mentioned with his typical loud and dry American accent.

“Or another way of looking at it Savvi,” I continued, “I can act very civil towards another person while inside I might be plotting to kill them.”

“I suppose…” he ventured, slightly uncertain and unwilling.

I had a bit of a mischievous glint in my eye. (OK, maybe it wasn’t that obvious!) But I was trying to entice him into the conversation which was a bit of a heavy topic for any young man. It was an old habit of mine and perhaps Savvi was used to me ‘pushing’ him along many of these ‘heavy’ topics whenever we go flying.

“This sense of Self, and the ability to reason about that awareness and control it, is what separates us from animals. Of course that is my humble opinion. Did I miss something you think?” I looked at him, kind of forcing him to answer and take part.

“Makes sense…” He said, while once again I detected an underlying hint of an unwillingness to commit to the conversation. I mean, who can blame the man? He was still high from spending time above the clouds.

Pic taken by Savvi

The next day I was sitting at 7500’ cruising above the rain and dismal weather falling on the Northern point of the island. At that moment, I was struck by an overwhelming sense of Self. It was magical. I was floating through a land of cloud-castles, akin to Jack and the bean stork; mysterious and enchanting, surreal yet certain, weightless yet seated, unencumbered yet limited. It brought to me a sense of freedom and love and blessings that becomes hard to put into words. Over and above my reasoning and navigating skills to safely move through the clouds, I have the ability to be aware of having this capability. And to top it off, I could recall my conversation with Savvi in the car the previous day. I suddenly realized that he was being civil and polite while disliking our conversation.

All too human!

Wish you were here!


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Short and to the point

Today was an interesting day. Savvi accompanied me on the flight as an extra set of eyes. (Four is so much better than two! ;) The winds had gone east and the west coast was thus off shore. If you were low you would get bumped around by the rotor turbulence and if you were too high you couldn't see much. It was kind of a toss-up between the two and we just made it up as we went along. I managed great navigation on the morning flight to stay clear of the bumpy stuff but on the afternoon things changed a bit and in one area we got hammered. For all the work we only got one shark – the boats did not go out.
Here is a pic of some of the action.

“Savvi and I still on the east coast passing “the point” – half way between the Airport (just off the pic on the right) and South point (off to the left).

Tomorrow they predict rain. We will just wait and see…

Wish you were here!


PS: Would you believe that all the interns have turned down to fly with me tomorrow morning? Are they insane!? Who would turn down the chance of flying around a beautiful tropical island in a micro-light?
Should I take it personally?

Hhhmm…. No. Perhaps they all have seen the weather forecast! ;)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Time and the speed of light not constant?

Just a reminder that my new book - Wings and Whale Sharks - is now available. In fact, why not check out my web, put and entry into my guest book and you can stand a chance of winning the book for free.

Makes sense to me.. ;)

What a cliché to say that “time sure flies when you are having fun!” But every now and then I get glimpses of the hidden truth behind these often quoted but seldom fully understood idioms. The amount of time I spend up in the sky, looking down on the earth provides a very different perspective on life. It is very much a matter of being hoisted above our usual two dimensional living while being afforded a three dimensional glimpse of the life we live. Looking down and “into” our world really opens the mind to contemplating the meaning of it all. Of course it is no secret that this perspective has convinced me of the existence of a Master Creator and even now, after thousands of hours and many years of being offered this “three dimensional glimpse” of life I honestly just don’t get how people can miss that.

It is a mystery to me.

Of course I know too that we live in a four dimensional world but few are aware of that – mostly it is exactly as I described it.

But coming back to the idea of “time flies when you have fun” concept. I managed to get an interesting little video clip of the Seychelles barred-ground-dove. These little doves are actually really cute and found everywhere around these islands. They have the sweetest call, though personally I think they do not possess much between the eyes if you get my meaning. ;) Look at this interesting photograph I lifted off from the video clip. Notice the view of the wings versus the shadow of the wings. Is this an optical illusion? Does it point to the differences between the speed of light – that the light reaching the camera from the bird is slightly different to that reaching the camera from the shadow of the bird? Or is there another explanation?
To me it certainly puts me even more in awe of how our world operates – down to the most intricate but perfectly designed complexities!

Wish you were here!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013


We have been having a bit of a blow for the last few days but today the strength pattern broke. The sharks were still there and the boats went out! Apparently there was a mellow shark around again – one of those that hanged around and hanged around. Everybody had a good time, according to Dirk.
His mom and her friend Bettie are here so he has been giving them a bit of a tour – making sure that every night they go to bed totally exhausted!

Having Dirk here is heaven sent. Not only does he help with the flying duties but he is also a very good friend, one with whom I have shared many an adventure with. Dirk is actually as Afrikaans as they get and I have been enjoying his conversations in the evenings immensely. He has that typical thick, drawn out Afrikaans accent, something that the ladies find attractive – according to Dirk. Of course nothing quite beats that feeling of comfort when one recounts homely stories in your mother tongue, especially if they are of “Spyker” and “Vienna”, Dirk’s two trusted dogs. Yes Dirk is very much a dog lover – something I observed too while watching him with our adopted cat, Lilly. Lilly is a small cat and she is quite the treat, often showing-off to us boys while jumping from curtain to couch and doing wild scrambles around the slippery tiled floor of our flat. On occasion she has graced us with the odd gecko and even a tiny little mouse. But when Dirk grabs hold of Lilly, he typically hoists her high over his head with just his one hand, the other hand casually hanging by his side while he talks to her. There is no scratch or tickle – just a kind man with a wide grin of pleasure peering up at Lilly while she hangs like a sack of potatoes draped across a man’s arm wondering ‘what the?’ It become very easy to sea Dirk is used to handling only dogs but Lilly loves him none the less.

Lilly in a more dignified pose...

As I was saying, Dirk has been reminiscing about his dogs: “Spyker” a bull terrier (“Spyker” is Afrikaans for “Nail” but the name has other connotations too which I will refrain from mentioning here), and “Vienna” a Dachshund, with a name that needs no translation but in this case needs to be pronounced with that wonderful Afrikaans accent. I have long ago learned too that unlike one would imagine, “Spyker” is the timid one while “Vienna” is the terror, apparently with no fear what so ever and with a pet love for cats.

“Johan,” Dirk says, “His eyes glaze over when he sees a cat.”
I of course chuckle at the though. Even Dirk, who rules with a stern hand (I can vouch seeing him with Lilly), admits that when Vienna sets his eyes on a cat he becomes unstoppable. Apparently he gets tunnel vision to such an extent that he would often charge right past his quarry, having worked up such frenzy in thought alone that he seemingly loses sight of the actual feline during the charge. With a growl and huff Vienna would grind to a stop, sniff the air, look around in a daze, before setting eyes on the unfortunate cat to follow through, if the cat has not used this opportunity to make its escape. Though he has not killed any cat, none apparently have stood up to Vienna’s challenges – even the ones who rule the house, supposedly in charge of large dogs such as Rottweiler’s and the lot. It seems no one has ever told Vienna what the rules are.

So Dirk starts to chuckle as he gleefully recounts the tale when once again Vienna set sight on a feline and before Dirk could stop (shouting does absolutely nothing), Vienna was off in full charge – this time towards the neighbour’s cat who was blissfully sitting next to their pool. Vienna apparently got just the slightest of glimpses of the cat since they are surrounded by a thick hedge with the swimming pool trellis around the pool. Well, Vienna flies through the hedge, through the trellis and surprises the cat that it cartwheeled into the pool. By this stage Dirk is having a good laugh at the recollection of the event.

Vienna and Spyker...

“He goes into such a state, like he ran through that fence so hard during the chase that he could not get back out. There was no way he could fit. I don’t know how he did it but we had to go fetch him out of the neighbour’s yard to get him home.”
And while I had a good hearted chuckle about Vienna it was even more meaningful listening to Dirk in our home language. It’s a bit of ‘home away from home…’

Wish you were here!

PS: Later Dirk added, “I felt quite sorry for the cat since it was the middle of winter…”

Friday, September 20, 2013

Wisdom without experience

Savvi and I before the morning flight.

It’s raining cats and dogs. Our little flat sure is cosy at times like these. And the sense of familiarity is welcomed too – how else after 11 seasons on the Islands of Seychelles. I am reminded of a quote from General Chuck Yeager – the best pilots are the most experienced pilots – or something to that effect, which brings me to my point: the correlation between wisdom and experience. The famous idiom expresses it quite well – experience is the mother of wisdom – and it is no wonder that we are sold on the idea that age and wisdom goes hand in hand. But does it? Is it possible to gain experience without wisdom or wisdom without experience? Is it at all possible to separate these two concepts? Though I am sure some of you will probably swear you know someone old without wisdom, (and personally I believe being young and foolish is actually cool compared to just being an old fool! :)

Of course with all the rain one can hardly help from being a bit philosophical. ;)

The boat doing a plankton tow. (You can just see the little drag net behind the boat)

Two days ago we had a fantastic run. The afternoon encounter trip was one of those memorable ones where interns, team leaders and the tourists (some Chinese) went home having lived a dream.  The boat crew was completely worn out even before my air support time was up – they had a record number of 23 encounters in less than 1:45 minutes. That is what Seychelles whale sharking is all about; that is why dive tourists come visit these islands – loads of encounters with whale sharks. It turned out a relaxing day for me as the boat was constantly busy with sharks with my just occasionally guiding them along. (Many times there were 4-5 sharks visible within a 50m radius of the boat.) In the morning Savvi and I saw 6 whale sharks in the south. This is Savvi’s second year with the MCSS though last year his whale shark experiences were a bit on the slim side – the six whale sharks were also his first from the air. In the afternoon he was one of the spotters in the boat so his day was full of experiences!

With all the sharks around I too was allowed to enjoy something sweet.

Back to the experience/wisdom concepts… The best way to learn is from others mistakes. This is something that is a wise mantra in my chosen sport! Though I found a nice variation of that on the net:
“A smart person learns from their mistakes.
A wise person learns from others. (mistakes)”
Did the writer mean it is possibly a mistake to learn from other’s mistakes? :))) Hehe…
And is it possible that you are gaining valuable experience just by reading this without even putting a foot in the water or setting a bum in the air?


Perhaps one can become wise without experience after all...

Wish you  were here!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Shark news - 15 Sep

15 Sep. 13

There is a whale shark in the bottom left of the pic with swimmers chasing hard. A rare light wind day at the beginning of the season.

Well, my turn to fly turned out to be pretty good, even if the winds were very strong. Both days yielded plenty sharks - Friday afternoon we spotted 11 individuals – but like I said the down side was the strong winds which made for very rough seas limiting the boat to access the shark infested waters. (He he, that does sound pretty sinister doesn't it? “Shark infested waters…” ;)
Our basic daily routine is a survey flight in the morning – collecting data on all sorts of things and of course where the sharks are. After the flight a decision is made; do we run the boats for a shark encounter trip or not? This season we have an abundance of sharks but rather ironically the winds have been playing havoc with the sea conditions – open water conditions for inexperienced tourists being rather on the rough side. Most days have been tottering on the just doable scale of things and David has had to do some tough calls – sometimes getting it right but rather frustratingly on other occasions the encounter trip cancelled while the weather suddenly turns peachy, like on Friday afternoon, contrary to weather forecasts. Jo and I spotted 11 sharks while the boat remained in the bay. We find solace in that we are only human – we can’t predict the future and at least decisions were made erring on the safe side.
Dirks is up flying again. Conditions are strong. Def not for the faint hearted but I believe the boat went out and they had something like 19 encounters. No doubt a couple of very weary divers are going to have a good night’s sleep tonight.
Wish you were here!

Dirks first flight after a two year lay-off. We are heading out over Beau-Vallon bay with a large threatening cloud near the island. I had to accompany him in the back seat to make sure he did not get lost! ;) 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Shark news...

12 Sep. 13
I have a good feeling about this year. So far the season has been great. We have seen sharks on almost every flight we have done and every time the boat has gone out they have had good encounters. The last three days the weather has been a bit disappointing though. Flying has been difficult and Dirk has managed to pick up some good decision making experience along the way. Unfortunately the seas have been too rough for the boats to go out. Today the wind averaged around 22
knots with gusts close to 30 – the very limits of our operating weather window – but Dirk did excellent. He saw 6 whale sharks even if the weather limited him to survey only the southern parts of the island. He did mention that he had a thorough workout in keeping the wings level while on the ground. ;)
Tomorrow is my turn to fly and as I write the rain is pouring down. I do see some hope in the Windguru reports. Time will tell…
Wish you were here!


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Slow punctures and purple blades…

“What is a ‘slow-puncture’?”
Freya was leaning out of the passenger window while I was busy pumping the left front tire. Looking up at her I realised she was being quite sincere so I could not help a good hearted chuckle. Perhaps it was a case of a difference in cultures or probably just a lack of experience I thought while returning the air hose to its rack. Freya is a beautiful young British lady – tall and slender with black curly hair and a super smile that makes every young man’s head turn. (Besides the fact that my head is not young or that my neck does not turn so well any more, Freya reminds me a lot of my niece!)

“It is exactly as the word describes. There is a slow leak in the tire and it goes flat after a few days so every second day we need to pump the tire…” I explained as I got back into the car while not being able to help myself fall into a light-hearted and happy mood – not that I wasn't in a similar kind of mood before but her question just seemed to fine tune our happy state. Our conversation on the way to the airport, though quite serious as far as topics are concerned – conservation and saving the planet kind of stuff – the overtones was always humorous.

Of course the fact that we have been blessed with good flying days with whale sharks to boot, just added to our lifted spirits. The whole MCSS whale shark team has been on a high and unlike the previous two years which has seen slow starts. (Last year it would not be far off to say we did not really have a start at all). Already the team has managed to do 3 whale shark dives, spending hours in the water with these amazing fish – one encounter was for almost an hour with a seemingly very happy whale shark. This year our team consists of 5 interns and three team leaders. (See the pic). So far I have had the great privilege of taking each of our interns for their first flight in a micro-light – Freya being one of them.
From back left, Sam and Jo who are team leaders. Ali and James - Interns. Front row is Sarah, Freya and Mat - Interns. Savvi, an intern from last year is enjoying a lie-down.

“Would you believe those wind turbines actually look cool?” I said as we drove down the hill into Victoria. Before us as part of the magnificent tropical island scenery, eight brand new wind turbines adorn the seaward side of Victoria bay. These wind turbines are a step in the right direction for Seychelles in becoming more energy efficient. The wind farm is a 6MW facility with each wind turbine generating 750kw of electricity. When considering that the islands sole energy source is from diesel generators that consumes almost 40% of the country’s gross fuel imports, the importance of this step becomes even more apparent. Of course, given that we considered ourselves nature conservation activists, we had to chat about the negative side of these wind turbines too, which are not always as green as one at first would imagine. Strangely enough in the wrong area the large blades have a tendency to kill birds, the seemingly slow turning blades going fast enough to strike a bird in mid-flight. Even if the large length of the blades create the illusion that they are slow turning, on a really windy day it is not uncommon for the tips to be traveling at more than 100 miles per hour! Later studies found that the blades actually create some subsonic wave patterns that disorientate birds causing the high number of strikes. If a wind farm is set in or near a migratory route it could be disastrous.

“Oh and they strike a lot of bats too.” Freya added.
“Bats?” I asked while my mind could not help imagine these tiny flying creatures with their super acoustic sensors becoming blade victims, at a time when no one is watching.
“Yes” she replied before adding, “…and they found that if they painted the blades purple then it would strike fewer bats but the people didn't like the idea of purple blades. I guess it would make them more of an eye sore, so they voted against that.”
“Purple!” I said in disbelief, while having a good chuckle. “How on earth did they discover that!?” I added while we both laughed at the crazy idea that the colour purple has an effect on the navigational abilities of bats. How ironic too that people would care more about the colour of the blades than saving bats.

“So these two bats where hanging in a cave and the one says to the other, ‘listen, I have had it, I’m starvin’, I’m going out there to get me a nice juicy cow.’ You can’t do that’, the other one says, ‘it is broad daylight out there and you won’t be able to see a thing’. ‘Well, I don’t care, I’m starving and I’m going’. So off he flaps and disappears out of the cave.

At this stage Freya had caught onto the fact that I was telling a joke and already was giggling about the funny bat hunting cow story.

“Ten minutes later the bat comes flapping back into the cave, blood dripping from his face.
‘Wow!’, says his buddy, ‘That looks awesome. I want some too. Where did you get that?’ ‘Come’, says his friend, ‘I’ll show you’. So off the two flap to the mouth of the cave where the blood dripping bat says, ‘see that tree over there?’ ‘No’, replied the other. ‘Well, neither did I’.”

Wish you were here!

Freya doing a bit of piloting - a sure way of forgetting about slow punctures, purple blades or saving bats!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Shark news 2013

Nothing fancy - just a quick update. We are off and running. The sharks are here and we had a very successful afternoon of diving on the sharks to day. One shark remained for near an hour with the boat until they got tired of it and called it a day. So lots of happy customers on the boat and a smiling crew. I am of course a bit flying unfit so the 12 or 13 hours I have spent in the air the last few days is taking its toll. Dirk, the pilot who is helping me this season is only arriving on Thursday evening so my first break realistically speaking will be Saturday only. Oh well... We just better suck it up! (Well, that's the mind part, but as we all know the body we have less control over! ;)

Wish you where here to help!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Whale Shark season 2013

Fourty days...

I guess after months of inactivity on my blog it is time to restart the creative writing machine - not that I see myself as a creative writing machine - heavens no! Just that I liken my writing prows to that of an old mechanical machine - the old nuts and bolts type - that needs to be thoroughly warmed up before it can function. As to how well it functions I relegate to just that; functioning by producing some words on paper. It certainly does not compare to today's modern gizmos of electronic gadgetry, sprouting forth beautiful poetry, grammatical correct and content rich essays and stories at the push of a button. Heavens no, it has taken me some time to push these mechanical buttons of mine, which I have noticed definitely do have a mechanical nature - I had to push really hard to get it going! But that I got it going of some sorts as the sight of these letter proof, I did.

All I wanted to say is: Our whale shark season 2013 has dawned. The count down has begun (Even if its a bit late!)