Wednesday, February 24, 2010

First week in paradise

Finally we had all arrived and our adventure had started, the sun was shining and it was a picture perfect day to start on. The first morning was spent unpacking and meeting everyone. In the afternoon we took a walk down to our beach in Bay Ternay, we were all bowled over by the breathtaking view, golden sand and warm turquoise water. Some of us even decided to take a walk up the granitic mountain overlooking the bay. It was a tough climb but worth it for the amazing views of the bay and Silhouette island.

The next day camp was filled with excitement as we prepared for our first dive. We headed out to Bay Ternay and had a spectacular dive, the coral was beautiful and pristine, and there were hundreds of colourful fish. Fish that we then learnt about later that day in a study session with the staff. We also had numerous orientations on the many pieces of equipment we would be using daily as part of the expedition. After a long hard day on this tropical island we all retired early to bed to do some studying and reflect on how lucky we were to be here.

Another day in paradise, another day’s diving. Today we were going on our first ‘fish spot’ dive. Again this was in Bay Ternay but this time we had to correctly identify all the colourful fish we were seeing. It was harder than we thought!! But another fantastic dive and turtles, sharks, rays and eels were all seen – it was a first for many of the divers so a good day was had by all.

There has been lots of learning to be done since we have got here and part of this has been our Emergency First Responder course (First Aid certificate). This has been a great deal of fun as we learnt how to provide basic first aid in an emergency situation. Unexpectedly we then had to put this into action as we were informed there had been an ‘incident’ on base that required our help. We came out of the rec room to find a hysterical man in a dress and lots of other people with copious amounts of fake blood everywhere. This fake situation was a great way for us to test our skills and also lots of fun!!

We have also completed our PADI Coral Reef Researcher diver specialty course. This course gave us the skills needed to carry out coral reef research (specifically for here). It was a good test of our buoyancy as we had to hover mid water and turn around with using our hands!

The week ended with a fantastic creole barbeque cooked for us by a local guide. The social committee had also decided that the fancy dress theme of the night would be ‘Fish species list’ so much fun was had trying to guess what Fish everyone had come as. It was a great night to end the first week in paradise, roll on week Two!!!