Wednesday, February 5, 2014

5/2/14 - Cap T Week 2 Recap

So, the start of week two and most of the base members have settled in. All of the routines that were learnt in the previous week have now become just that, routines. However life can never be routine at Cap Ternay.
During one of his first coral spot dives, Master Tom came across a new species of coral. This in of itself would be an amazing feat, however in a twist of fate, it seems that Tom’s freshly shaven head provided the perfect substrate for this new species of coral to attach to, which has now been named Eltonis tupeae.
The coral would be described as orangey-brown in colour, with permanently extended tentacles reaching a few centimetres in length. The corallites wall height is uneven all around the polyp, but the reason for this is currently still under investigation.

As little is known about this species, it was deemed prudent to leave it on top of Tom’s head for further observation. When asked what it felt like, Tom gave a succinct reply of “I quite like it”, leading us to believe that it changes the host’s perception of style. It seems to be a hardy species, able to survive long periods (well over 24 hours) out of the water. Unlike other corals, this one does not sting when touched, so what it feeds on remains a mystery.

This week celebrated the completion of the advanced course for those that needed to undertake it, so congratulations to all the volunteers who passed.

Thursday became the first day since the volunteers arrival that everyone could just enjoy the day. With no more advanced open water reviews to be concerned about, the day started with everyone going on a fun dive, basically being dropped into the bay to go for an underwater exploration. A couple of white tip reef sharks, turtles, octopi and squid were spotted by different dive groups, as well as the now usual myriad of fish species.

No one got lost unintentionally (intentionally may be a different case but does that count as being ‘lost’?) so the day spent bumping into things on base with towels over our heads must have had some effect. Later that afternoon was the first match of the GVI Beach Rounders League, an extremely competitive league with a whopping 2 teams with dubious levels of skill.

The volunteers were split into teams based on topic of study with Fish on one team and Corals+Inverts on the other. ‘Faceplanter’ Connie led the way for the Corals+Inverts team while ‘Top Scorer’ Tam schooled the fish. This brutally competitive game basically constituted people attempting (but failing) to run from base to base in knee height water or deep wet sand for an hour which had results that I will just leave to your imaginations. The evening was finished off with the Thursday night BBQ that the whole camp had been waiting for since about Monday, and did not disappoint.

- Alex, Divemaster Intern