Thursday, October 20, 2011

18/10/11 Getting into the Cap Ternay Routine

Week 3 has arrived already, and we have found ourselves settled into a daily routine of diving, camp duties and studying, separated by partying and/or relaxing on the weekends. Against all expectations we are now (almost) competent bread makers, compressor runners, deck hands and radio operators, with just a few baking related miscalculations here and there.

Studies have included the fourth and final coral workshop, a lecture on renewable energy from Tim Kirkpatrick and our first coral identification exam. Those doing the Team Leading and Advanced Biological Surveys BTECs have begun lectures and assignments, and the first week of community work with the International School of Seychelles has begun. On Tuesday and Thursday, volunteers taught the Year 6 students about extinct marine animals and plate tectonics, played conservation themed games and discovered how unfit they are teaching the children how to play rugby!

The second plankton pull of the phase was done by some of the volunteers, sparking further competition for the fastest time taken to pull in the net; unfortunately no-one has yet beat the all-time leaders for either the girls or the boys. Some of us also completed our first turtle dive, attempting to navigate a serpentine shape across the bay until (hopefully) spotting a turtle, noting its characteristics and behaviour. One buddy pair surfaced on a massive high, having spotted two turtles interacting and circling each other.

Last weekend a tribal theme was chosen for Friday night, and everyone fashioned weapons (long sticks), donned war paint (mud and make-up) and crafted head-dresses (plaited leaves).

Come Saturday, most of base headed into picturesque Beau Vallon, braving the torrential rain. Half the group went on a night dive and spotted a 1m puffer fish, numerous Moray Eels and Lion Fish as they went through one of the wrecks at the twin barges site. A big night out followed in Beau Vallon’s only club, aptly named ‘Tequila Boom’ (no, really). For those with the staying power, a late night/ early morning wander to the beach was the only way forward after the club closed its doors.

A lazy Sunday flew by and Monday snuck up on us as we slipped back into life in our home at Cap Ternay. Already midway into the third week we are getting a sense of how fast our time here will go, looking forward to the daily dives, learning survey techniques and relaxing at weekends.