Monday, February 9, 2009

Running Smoothly

After a couple of busy weeks finishing off all the studying and then finding out that there was more to do, everybody is extremely pleased that they have now all completed their coral and invert exams with the minimum 95% pass rate. There is now four dives a day running like clockwork keeping everybody busy all the time, and now being well settled into camp life, the average day runs nice and smoothly with everyone mucking in and helping where ever it’s needed.

There have been a few base projects to contend with over the last few weeks which the volunteers have been more than happy to get stuck into in their spare time. For instance when the Marine Park Buoy of Biae Ternay came loose and washed up on the beach, Johannes from France retrieved it with no trouble at all. Our new Science board holds a wealth of extra information on all topics related to our work and others in similar fields in Seychelles. Each weekly shopping trip brings new and exciting varieties of food for people to experiment with and try to please 30 hungry divers. Also Callie from America had her first experience with gutting a fish, which she really enjoyed. Our weekly plankton run almost created a new record breaker in the eyes of Mike.M from America who came to within 1 second of snatching the 36 second pull time created many phases ago. If the sea had been calmer, I’m sure he would have got it without trouble.

The first two groups of volunteers have been to our satellite camp on the island of Curieuse for a week, studying Giant Tortoises and doing turtle beach walks. One lucky lady, Judith from Venice was the first to spot a turtle nest hatching with one hatchling emerging, unfortunately for everybody else it must have been the last one as by the time she had got everybody else no more came out. Once the Curieuse experience is over, many people choose to visit the other neighboring islands. Most popular is La Digue, which holds lovely rustic charm with few vehicles on the island, transport consists of mostly ox’s and carts or bicycles. With it only taking a couple of hours to cycle round the whole island, there is little need for anything else.

It’s been a cracking few weeks here on camp, with the weather being beautiful and the sea as bountiful as ever things couldn’t be better. However it will soon be the end of some people’s journey with us in the Seychelles and the beginning for many others with the 5 week change over looming we will be saying a fond farewell and welcome all over again.