Friday, July 24, 2009

All well in Seychelles

First of all we would like to welcome back “Dexter Crabtree” our Curiuse dive boat. After an extensive refitted and sporting her new, second hand Suzuki 70hp four stroke engine she has gone back into service. Ready for the busy months ahead as we set up our second dive base over on Curiuse Island.

This week we started our practical part of the Coral Reef Research Diver course (PADI), which is only available in two places in the world-the Seychelles being one of them, so we are very lucky!We dived in Baie Ternay and went through a number of underwater skills that will aid us in our survey techniques. Such as hovering, invert hovers , navigation and fish spots. The invert hovers are tricky for us British divers used to dry suits, but once you learn, its great as it enables you to get very close to the corals safely. We also practiced laying out tape measures and measuring fish size underwater (as everything is 33% bigger underwater) so we can ensure the data we collect will be as accurate as possible.

We had a special mystery guest this week – David Rowat from MCSS who supervises the whale shark conservation program in the Seychelles. We were told the good news that this month and the next are perfect times to see these magnificent animals!

The first group of volunteers headed off to Curieuse this week to help out around the new base with the construction of the facilities. A few days later we said bon voyage to Ben and Rachael who drove “Dexter Crabtree” over to the island to run the future expeditions. Good luck and we hope to visit very soon.