Wednesday, October 27, 2010

27/10/10 Update from Cap Ternay

Alright alright, quiet down, class has started. According to our dive schedule, today is Sunday, but nobody knows or cares what date or month it is. We are now so attuned to our environment that we can navigate by starlight, even underwater, and we can tell days in advance when it’s next going to rain. Not that we care, because we’re underwater. Today, ten of the volunteers (including your humble correspondent) and a couple of staff decided to take a long leisurely snorkel out of Bay Ternay and around to some deeper water. It only took us 4 ½ hours. All that time fighting currents was well worth it, however, given the variety of fauna on display. Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up the ladder of awesomeness. There was an octopus flashing his colours at us, barracuda, some bumpheads (small fish, only about 1m long and almost as high), a couple of turtles (one green and one hawksbill) and a couple of sharks. One of these was resting under a rockshelf – there is something to be said about peering under a rock ledge 8m down to find yourself within 30cm of the business end of a grey nurse shark. But that’s just my opinion. Your correspondent and Hanna (Swedish, can sing a bit…) also had one of those experiences which we’re not likely to forget soon. We were about 10m under, swimming behind a school of 38 devil and eagle rays (yes, Hanna counted them), so close that we could have literally reached out and grabbed them. So that was quite nice.

Other things we’ve been up to: climbing the highest point on Mahe (see attached photo). Rubbish view. Mark (Australia, architect) learned what his sweat pores are for, which was an interesting educational experience for us all. There have been a couple of night dives, which were simply outstanding. The whole place comes to life at night, and you see a whole lot of stuff you otherwise wouldn’t, like a parrot fish sleeping with a moray eel wrapped around it. A few people, including your correspondent, have successfully passed their coral exams (95% pass mark!), leaving the rest of the expedition in their wake. Oh, and we’ve been diving. A lot. We’re all starting to get a bit sick of it actually…there have been a few comments being thrown about to the tune of “I really miss my office chair” and “Wow, this constant sunshine is awful, I want to go back home to the UK where it drizzles a lot.”

Watch this space next week for a run down on the menu. Exciting!! Ok, ciao kids!!

Facts and figures:

1: The number of people who passed their coral exam first time. Well done Vanessa.

4: Number of turtles seen by Robbie and Darragh on a single dive.

7: The number of people you can fit into a taxi back from Tequila BOOM.

0: Number of volunteers who have seen the Dolphark. You won’t see the Dolphark, but you can bet lots of shiny silver dollars he’s seen you.