Thursday, December 25, 2008

Years end.

The year is at an end and all at GVI Seychelles wish all our 2008 voulenteers a fruitfull and happy 2009. Thank you all so much for making it our busiest and happiest year.

After a brief spell of stormy weather and a few cancelled dives, the return of calm seas and blue skies in the final 2 weeks of this phase has enabled an intense period of coral and fish surveying. This ensured that all 18 sites were completed in good time with enough space to include 2 additional sites also (and even a few fun dives thrown in for good measure!)

An array of interesting sea life has been spotted including sharks, rays, turtles, eels and nudibranchs.

Turtle nesting tracks have been seen on several of the small beaches around the expedition base while more nests were found near the Curieuse Island satellite camp. In addition, a total of 4 Hawksbill turtles were caught and tagged there also.

The final plankton tow on Wednesday saw seas which were rough enough to disturb one or two of the volunteers to the point of nausea requiring disembarkation! Needless to say the record time for pulling in the net remains unchallenged this week as a result.

Tuesday saw the completion of the term’s community teaching with the international Seychelles school. This has been a 6 week program of lessons involving 2 classes of 7 and 8 year olds covering ecosystems, food chains, endangered species, marine parks and marine pollution. The final lesson this week was a ‘fun session’ learning about fish adaptation methods. In this session the children had a chance to design their own ‘superfish’ with special powers. As it was raining that morning they also had the opportunity to visit the expedition base for lessons (instead of the beach) and were able to see not only where we work and live but also to witness a fully kitted scuba diver. This latter both amused and fascinated the children in equal measure.

The final ’10 week barbeque’ on Wednesday witnessed some of the best creole cuisine many of us had ever tasted – created by the multi talented Phillipe, Stella and Everest. The usual large vat of ‘Bacca’ (the local ‘moonshine’ spirit distilled in a secret location on the island) ensured that the party continued long into the night (until well after sunrise for some).

All in all the phase has been a considerable success in terms of scientific data acquisition, community living and social interaction(!) and we are all looking forward to the next one starting on 9th January.