Monday, February 27, 2012

27/02/12 Above and Below the Waves

Although turtle-nesting season has gradually begun to drop off, we have still managed to find fourteen hatchlings in the past week, via our extreme digging of anything resembling a sinkhole (a hatched nest) on Grand Anse and Anse Papaie. The excitement of finding a hatchling in the sand, when you are digging out the hatched eggs, has still yet to decrease and we are incredibly happy that our few hours of hard work had paid off!

We had an exciting Coco de Mer walk this week, we got to fly solo for the first timeand had an epic adventure. After scrambling through Coco Plum bushes and up rocks behind Anse Jose, we fought our way past spiny palms and up to the ridge where we recorded about 18 CDM trees. The views from the ridge were breath-taking: we could see all the way down Curieuse Island and out to Praslin, La Digue and Ave Maria, as well as down the island in the opposite direction, out onto the horizon – a very welcome accompaniment to our hard work!

Our Thursday party night was definitely more eventful with a fuller camp, with our ‘rave’ theme being created via brightly coloured outfits and headtorches being hung around the tables. After a brilliant barbeque, we broke out the music and drinks, and definitely had a few sore heads come Friday morning.

Three of us decided to do an exploration dive with Octopus Diver’s on Praslin at the weekend, which took us to South Marianne, one of the best dive sites in this area. As the first dive we had done since passing our Open Water with Octopus, we were thrilled to see White Tip Reef Sharks, a Grey Reef Shark, four Devil rays and incredible amounts of fish. We returned to Praslin on a huge adrenaline high.

Much to everyone’s excitement, the swimming and snorkelling ban, that has been in place since August, was finally lifted, enabling a group of us to explore the coral just outside camp. We saw huge arrays of brightly coloured fish, including lionfish, a cornetfish, emperor fish, butterflyfish and batfish. It was lovely to be allowed out into the water discover all the wildlife on our doorstep.