Tuesday, August 7, 2012

07/08/12 Our first taste of expedition life

Arriving at the GVI base I felt a bit as though I had been dropped into a confusing land where I didn’t speak the language. For example, why would you possibly need to breathe into an octopus? And how is a stick of bamboo used to pick fruit? I quickly learned that things worked very differently at base camp than in central London.
I soon fell in love with the wild nature of the camp, surrounded by mountains on either side, just a short walk away from one of the most beautiful dive sites in the Seychelles (Baie Ternay). Despite being relatively new to diving, having just completed my open water, the diving aspect has been easy to pick up as the staff are all so thorough with making sure we’re comfortable in the water.
Adjusting to 6 and 7am wake-ups has been a bit of a struggle but life around camp has all but made up for it. Compressor duty allows you to catch up on your reading and everyone seems to find the hum of the generator therapeutic. As for exercise, coconut husking seems to be the boys choice muscle building tactic. The volunteers range from 18 to 32 years old, but despite our varied cultural backgrounds and age differences everyone gets on really well.
Another surprise is the amount of free time we’ve had and all the fun activities we do, including Thursday night barbeques, snorkeling in the bay, and yet there’s still some free time to sunbathe.
My favourite aspect of the camp has to be the abundance of wildlife and nature, from the numerous mango, guava and coconut trees that surround the camp to the stray bull that occasionally ravages our tomato patch and needs to be shooed away.
So far my GVI experience has not only allowed me to see amazing marine life such as hawksbill turtles and dive in one of the most extensive and varied coral reefs in the world, but it’s also given me a chance to meet people I never would have otherwise, and I’ve definitely made some friends for life.