Sunday, February 22, 2009

Farewells and Hello's.

After five weeks of hard work and great diving, emotions were high as a fond farewell was said to those volunteers leaving us. To celebrate the good times, a well earned toga party was organized in the usual meeting place of the camp kitchen. Solid friendships were made in that short space of time and I’m sure they will continue for a long time to come. With that a warm welcome is due to all the new volunteers that have joined us for the second five weeks of this phase. Everyone got here on time and after a quick orientation around the camp they are already into the water on their second day, with four of them taking and having passed their advanced open water certification (congratulations) and the rest moving straight into studying the corals.

The new volunteers have joined just in time to enjoy what seems to be an explosion of exciting mega fauna around our studied sites. As if the few sightings of Lion fish and 8 foot sting rays weren’t exciting enough, we have also had Mike from the States be lucky enough see 29! Bumphead Parrot fish whilst snorkeling around satellite base camp Curieuse, Dan from the UK spotted a Lobster in our very own Baie Ternay Centre with antennas spanning around two meters in length, and several boat journeys have had the pleasure of witnessing large pods of dolphins just outside the bay.

It’s now prime season for many of the fruits that grow on the island and the volunteers are making the most of this, with many meals now consisting of Bread fruit, Mangos and star fruits fresh from the trees around them. Even a short walk to the shop could prove bountiful for the more eagle eyed of volunteer to spot some ripe bananas and gather them straight from the side of the road, as Colin found out earlier in the week.

With everyone now settled in to camp life and ready for the next five weeks, we are happy to announce that we are already taking Quad surveys from a variety of our sites and also the invert belts are up and running ahead of schedule. This is all due to the excellent team work and constant hard work that everybody is putting in. Well done everyone.

With all that hard work during the week, the weekends are well earned and well enjoyed. With many people taking a trip round the island to the town centre and making the most of the usual facilities and then taking some time out on the beach. A few volunteers had the great idea of renting a yacht and sailing around the Seychelles islands for the weekend just passed. They were lucky with the weather and had a great time, seeing a whole variety of beautiful mega fauna and island sceneries. I’m very jealous guys; make sure you take me next time!