Friday, July 16, 2010

Week One at the GVI Curieuse base

We are living on Curieuse Island, the fifth largest island in the Seychelles. The island has a population of 30 people, including 11 newly arrived expedition members to the GVI Base. On arrival the view is spectacular, a white sandy beach with towering Takamaka and coconut trees. We were greeting by the staff; Carl, Sally, Seth and Katie. Expedition members come from a variety of countries for the adventure of a lifetime. Expeditions members include; Tim and Kim (USA), Calum (Scotland), Caitlin (Australia), Bram aka ‘the king’ (Netherlands), Linda and Valeria (Germany), Kasia (Poland), Selina (Malaysia), Silvia (Switzerland) and Tony (Austria).

All of us have had the following new experiences:

· Husking and desiccating coconuts;

· Using a machete to cut down invasive cinnamon trees;

· Becoming vegetarians;

· Visiting the giant land tortoises that live on the island; and

· Visiting the coco de mar palms which are only endemic to Curieuse and Praslin islands in the world.

The diving here is unbelievable! We have been diving at least once a day and have seen some fantastic fish and coral. Our most exciting sightings so far are:

· White-tipped reef sharks;

· Spotted eagle rays;

· Hawksbill turtles;

· Moray eels;

· Bumphead parrotfish; and

· Nudibranchs.

Other notable events this week have been; Kasia’s birthday, celebrations for 4th July (USA Independence Day) and Friday night BBQ.

Whilst our boat was out of water for repairs we had a day to take part in our own 4 event beach Olympics. Our events were Tug-O- War, Flipper races, Two tank lift and Volley ball. Competition was heated and one may have been able to hear the winners singing ‘We are the champions’ from the other side of Curieuse. We look forward to four more weeks of adventure and excitement!!