Thursday, November 17, 2011

15/11/11 Mega-sightings at Cap Ternay!

Last week proved to be a very productive week. If the new five weekers expected a gentle introduction to life on base, they had another thing coming. Training started immediately, complete with Advanced Open Water courses, lectures, coral workshops, coral study and their first coral spots, not to mention having to deal with the added stress of duty groups on top of all that.

By Friday, it was impressive to see that all the five weekers had successfully completed their Advanced Open Water course and seem to be adjusting perfectly to their new rustic lifestyle in Cap Ternay.

As for the rest of us old-hands, the week went by like a blur. I’m very proud to say that our team of volunteers has completed more than half the Survey Sites which GVI is obligated to complete each phase and are well ahead of schedule. For our social evening last Friday, it was decided that we would give dressing-up a rest, come as ourselves (A lot of us were forgetting who we were by this stage) and instead have a trivia evening. The volunteers and staff were split into random teams of six and had to answer a number of question on topics including; General Knowledge, GVI, Staff trivia and music. The evening went really well and I think staff and volunteers (old and new) had a chance to mingle with people who perhaps they hadn’t spoken to before.

Friday morning held a special surprise for Nicole, Kanina, Sara, Christina and I. After the most horrid surveying experience on Thursday at Therese North End, where we had to complete a Shallow survey - in a surge which flung us seven metres in each direction, throwing us against rocks and causing general mental, emotional and physical damage – this fun dive would prove to be the remedy for such a disastrous experience.

Our little group of ladies, with the lovely Liz as our Skipper, set off on Friday morning for a fun dive on Dexter. Little did we know that the second we got in the water, the most amazing dive would begin. Our first sighting was a Hawksbill turtle, unaware of the five of us floating around her, I found a rock lobster and perched right next to it was a tiny Nudibranch about 5mm in length (anyone who knows me, will know that I go nuts for Nudibranchs), our next treat was a lovely Green Turtle spotted by Sara, and a very rare and super cute Torpedo Ray, followed by a one-and-a-half metre White Tip Reef Shark – the biggest White Tip I’ve ever seen.

Not long after that, in between some shenanigans and an underwater disco, there appeared some vague, silvery, shimmering shapes about thirty metres away. As we got closer, our eyes widened, as the shimmering outlines took the form of a shoal of thirty Devil Rays gliding towards us. We watched in awe as they elegantly swerved and banked away from us, then we made a desperate scramble to swim after them.

As if that wasn’t enough, just as we were about to ascend for our safety stop, I spotted a group of twelve squid moving off in a perfectly linear formation. Eventually, we decided that it would be a good idea to do our safety stop - seeing as all of us were low on air because of the laughing, shouting and ridiculous jigs we were doing in our excitement - and just to round off our dive, one of the girls spotted a giant of a Humphead Wrass just below us. Needless to say, we all came up with shouts of glee and lots of hysterical laughter. What a way to end a week and begin a weekend!