Monday, March 12, 2012

10/03/12 Monthly Goodbyes

So you may have gathered that I like weekly themes, and espectially weekly theme music. Unfortunately, for some of us volunteers, the theme music for this week is… “The Final Countdown.”

We will be saying goodbye at the end of this week to two of our wonderful marine volunteers who have been working hard to get up to speed and surveying during their four weeks here. We will also be losing four of our terrestrial volunteers as the Curieuse Base turns into a purely marine project, for the time being until the terrestrial expedition starts up again in October. It has certainly been a whirlwind four weeks and we will terribly miss all of our wonderful fellow volunteers…but are excited to welcome six new marine volunteers with open arms.

Besides the loss of our new friends, we have had yet another busy week of work and play. A big round of applause goes out to the dedicated volunteers who, after several weeks of studying, have begun LIT lines and fish surveying. And lets just say, for lack of a better phrase, it is going along swimmingly. In addition to the busy surveying activity, a few eager overachievers decided to continue their hard work over the weekend by taking a rescue diver certification course with Octopus Divers on Praslin Island, in the hopes of improving their diving skills and learning a bit more about life under the sea. They worked hard all weekend practicing skills and occasionally enjoing a little fun diving.

To top that off, several volunteers joined Octopus Divers for an amazing night dive. Besides the marble rays, spotted eagle rays, green turtle, bumphead parrot fish, countless (well, more like 5) white tip reef sharks, and 2 octopi that the rescue divers saw over the weekend, the rest of the volunteer crew spotted a few friendly animals during the week as well. Lets see if we can remember everything: white tips, Hawksbill turtles, humphead wrasse, bumphead parrot fish, octopus, and, you know, all the usual stuff too. Just a typical day in the office…I think I could learn to live with this.

Like I said, it hasn’t been all “work” (if you can call swimming with the fishies work), there has been some play too. We all got into the competitive spirit for a little base camp beach volleyball game. Score keeping went out the window quickly as we laughed and bumbled our way through some less than stellar volleys. After a few heroic dives and spikes, along with a few trips into the ocean to retrieve stray balls, the game ended when our only ball got stuck on the roof of the kit room. We are all anxiously awaiting a rematch and hoping for a few volleyball stars among our new volunteer arrivals. For those less keen on athletics, we also had our weekly Thursday night BBQ and party night, complete with a crazy jungle theme. You know, when you live on an island covered in ferns and palms and tarzan-esque vines, it was pretty appropriate. Lets just say a dress up theme party has never been so easy. The dinner table was graced by the presence of a few wild animals, a tarzan, a tree, the obligatory tourist (complete with toilet paper binoculars), and one very confused “urban jungle” party goer. It was yet another successful night of relaxing, full of good tunes, star-laden skies, delicious food (read, meat), and tasty beverages.

Check back next week to read about our upcoming theme party…Lord of the Rings, Oh, yeah, and more info on our surveying activites and the new volunteers.

Sending warm wishes from our island paradise.

Relaxing with a game of volleyball