Friday, September 9, 2011

06/09/11 Curieuse visit Cap Ternay

Our second-to-last week led the 10 remaining Curieuse volunteers to Cap Ternay on Mah̩ to get back in the water for a final eight dives in these beautiful islands, whilst four out of our five staff members remained on base to safeguard our home and complete base jobs. The recent in-water ban by the government, due to two freak shark attacks, meant that diving, swimming and snorkelling has been completely off the agenda on Curieuse Рso our survey dives have been cut short. Understandably, it was a welcome surprise to all of us when we heard the news of our one-week holiday from holidays.

Taking with us all our clothes and equipment for the following week we set sail to Praslin and then to Mah̩, where Chris - the GVI Seychelles Programme Coordinator - was waiting for us in the Cap Ternay bus. Eventually we reached Cap Ternay Research Centre where we were warmly welcomed by 25 fellow volunteers who had been staying on the base for the previous 4 or 9 weeks. It was daunting to say the least for us Curieuse volunteers to see this exciting place Рas we had heard a lot about it and the people but never actually had any direct contact. It was a million miles from our all but deserted desert island Рan old youth centre that had been spruced up into an attractive mountain camp Рwith running water and bathrooms (luxuries we are not used to on Curieuse.) We were assigned to duty groups to help with the existing volunteers and help with the running of the camp with such things as cooking, looking after the grounds and cleaning. Its beautiful views were far different from ours, and it was strange with 45 on camp instead of the 17 were used to Рbut we fitted in well and its fair to say we were welcomed with open arms.

We were set to be fun-diving for four days – with two dives each day – and we were glad to be getting back into the water for a final week of diving. We dived with ‘The Underwater Centre’ in Beau Vallon – where many of the Dive Master interns go to complete their PADI Dive Master qualification after the 10 weeks on base. It was exhillerating to say the least, as we were extremely used to diving our familiar dive spots on Curieuse. We were grateful to experience some different dive sites and experience some more of the Seychelles underwater world. Also, we celebrated Hendriks 21st birthday! We made cakes to celebrate, and the greatly missed Curieuse staff who stayed behind sang Happy Birthday over the phone!

Socialising in the evenings and weekend with the Cap Ternay volunteers was also brilliant fun, and we all met some incredible people and some great friends that (both staff and volunteers) we are sure to keep in contact with. We all got to experience Mahe life and living; as well as whale shark snorkelling with the MCSS which a handful of volunteers were lucky enough to try. The Beau Vallon night life was also seeked out and tried – and was an experience I don’t think any of us will forget! All in all, we had a great week, met some great people and of course had some intense diving – something we all enjoyed greatly. From all the Curieuse volunteers, we would like to thank all the GVI staff and GVI its self for organising a week away after the in-water ban – especially considering the event was completelty unforseeable and very unfortunate. We would also like to welcome our new staff memeber – Ant, who will be taking Jaxs’ place; we are sure he’ll be a great addition to the staff team here, although Jax will be sorely missed.

We got the chance few get the opportunity to when they come to the Seychelles, although that said were all glad to be back on our island paradise to enjoy our final 5 days.

With love from Curieuse..