Saturday, March 21, 2009

Amazing times had by all.

Seychelles Marine Expedition is now drawing to a close. Everybody has been working really hard over the last couple of weeks. The 10 week volunteers have been on a surveying frenzy, and the volunteers who arrived at the 5 week mark have been able to participate recently too after being signed off on their coral spots, well done chaps! Following some ‘extreme quading’ (as it has become affectionately known) in the shallow surge, we completed all our contracted sites on Thursday of last week. This left time for us to complete the Lighthouse, an additional site, on Friday where Nadia and Lisa attracted a remora sucker fish who took rather a shine to them! Also, Johannes, the ‘megafauna-magnet ‘, was lucky enough to see a green turtle which are few and far between in our bay.

The turtle nesting season on Curieuse has almost come to an end but Deanna, Saskia and Anne were lucky enough to see a turtle nesting during the week they spent there! They were able to measure and tag the turtle as she made her way back to the sea after having laid her eggs...unfortunately, Deanna, who was holding the turtle, got dragged down the beach with her! They’re a lot stronger than you imagine! During week 7, Johannes, Rich, Carly, Lisa and Rach helped the Rangers build the new base on Curieuse for next phase. This involved digging up vast quantities of sand to make a base for the to say they the group want to see a spade again!!

The past couple of weeks have held several days of celebration. It was Phoebe, Rich and Hazel’s birthdays. Callie and Lucy’s birthday falls on the day of the ten week barbeque so there will be much cake and merriment I’m sure. Rich and Lisa recently dived their 100th dive – Rich thoroughly enjoyed his and Lisa dressed in her pyjamas for hers. Monday and Tuesday of this week were filled with fun dives, as a way of thanking the volunteers for all their hard work. We’ve visited several of our favourite sites around the area including Conception Island, Cap Matoopa and the Lighthouse, and it’s been megafauna madness! We’ve seen whitetip reef sharks, eagle rays, octopus, lobsters, and large schools of barracuda, humphead wrasse, bumphead parrotfish and many smaller but equally as interesting critters.

Another GVI Seychelles expedition has drawn to a close. Happy volunteers are heading off in all directions taking with them wonderful memories of their time with us, knowing they have done good work and probably had the time of their lives.