Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dicken, Lynsey, Anita and Lars arrive on Curieuse

The past week has seen the sad departure from Curieuse of the first set of five weekers from Curieuse to Mahe and the arrival of a new group of five weekers.
The new group of five weekers have arrived from two sides of Europe; England and Switzerland. Dicken and Lynsey have travelled from London, whilst Anita and Lars have travelled from Switzerland.
Dicken is currently a Special Effects Engineer working on the new Sherlock Holmes film released in December 2009, and has discovered an amazing talent for baking bread and pastry making of which we are all truly thankful for, whilst Lynsey is a Valuation Surveyor for capital construction works. They both say ‘Hello’ from Curieuse! Anita and Lars are our other two new five weekers and are both Software Engineers for major banks in the finance capital of Zurich in Switzerland. They both say ‘Gruezi’ from Curieuse!
The first few days has consisted of meeting the fabulous ten weekers and staff, and adjusting to island life. To date we have had two coral workshops and are mastering cooking for eleven people of which the beautiful location has made this a lot easier. So far our coral identification skills are relatively good, of which we are fairly confident leaving only a couple of species that continue to baffle us, but perseverance is imperative to start coral quads and transects. We have so far carried out four dives in perfect conditions, and even saw a turtle on the return to the island following a dive. A short walk to the end of the island on Sunday introduced us to the giant tortoises that live on Curieuse, and we also got to see a baby tortoise which was extremely cute!

In the meantime the ten weekers (Steph, Seth and Diana) have had a couple of days off where they have been investigating the delights of Praslin and Badimir beaches, and then have been continuing with their quad dives and turtle walks. Seth has also been busy making a sun lounger out of the local wood which is still ‘under construction’, whilst Carl has successfully designed and constructed his sun lounger which is surprisingly comfortable
(Top: Carl’s sun lounger, Bottom: Seth’s sun lounger)

Yesterday we said hello to Lindsay from Cap Ternary to learn more about turtles and threats to the coral reefs. We also went over to the ranger’s station and met with Dr Jeanne Mortimer, a turtle expert of thirty years. She went on a turtle walk with us describing what to look out for in the tracks and then having seen no turtles on this occasion; she kindly joined us for lunch and presented a series of lectures in the afternoon describing her travels throughout the world as a conservationist monitoring turtles and their habitats. She has been in the Seychelles since 1981 dedicating her life to the turtles, and has witnessed the increase and decrease in turtle populations here. But since the ban in turtle hunting the data shows a vast numbers of turtles within this vicinity that do not travel beyond the Seychellois waters, as this is a unique environment where they are not under threat and they can lay a series of successful clutches per year. This talk was extremely awe inspiring and insightful from an extremely knowledgeable and experienced lady who is highly motivated. She stayed with us through the majority of the afternoon answering all our questions which was an extreme honor and privilege for us.