Receive discounts on GVI programs for life!

We are very excited to announce the launch of the GVI Membership! It will give you unprecedented access to discounted spots on a range of GVI programs, updated every single month, at up to 40% off! Sign in and know more about here!

GVI Marine Training kit

Please click here to access the online GVI Marine training kit

If you are coming for four weeks click
here to find the training tool that will help you learning your juvenile fish!

Study on the go! Click here for a Caribbean fish id guide application for iphones, ipads and ipods!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Punta Gruesa's jam-packed weeks! fun dives, Hurricane Richard personality problems, TEFL starts, more amazing wildlife and Beach Olympics!

We’re back and what an awesome, jam-packed two weeks it’s been!! Friday began with our first ever fun dive day! Three groups of excited divers went out with adventure and excitement on our minds. Underwater photography, swim through areas, with every dive the spirit of fun was around and everywhere you looked flippers were being pulled and new sights were seen. Nurse shark, hawksbill turtle, barracuda, spotted moray eel, southern sting ray and an abundance of coral and fish species were all seen making it a pretty successful fun dive day.

Sunday started our epic battle with Richard, the storm with an identity problem. He went from tropical storm to hurricane – just can’t decide what he is. In pouring rain and winds, everyone banded together and packed up base, including securing the boats on land and bringing the generators, compressors and dive equipment out of the rain. Two hours later, and successfully evacuated to Casitas, everyone gathered in the local bar for food and backgammon. Everyone was safe and sound and Richard, who became a low pressure system, soon passed over allowing us dive sharks to return to base.

Alas, after Richard farewelled us, we then had a week of bad weather and no diving for four days. Plenty to keep us busy though. TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) has started in the last two weeks and has been a great success.

English classes are held for primary and secondary schools and also for adults on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Mahahual. We were greeted by primary school aged children, aged 5-12 years old, full of ‘loco’ beans and super keen to request different topics to learn in English. Animals, countries, colours, shapes, the alphabet and outdoor games…it’s amazing what you can fit into an hours lesson! Attempting to teach the hokey pokey to a year 3 class, as they stood in the playground dancing, running whilst holding on to their newly decorated cardboard cut out hands was a hoot! Secondary girls and boys enjoyed the old ‘sucking the egg through the bottle’ experiment and have been eager to share their ideas and methods on various science experiments. Adult classes are also thriving on a weekly basis. It’s a fantastic opportunity for locals to improve their conversational or written English, which may assist and help either on a personal or business level. Not to mention a great advantage for the crew to brush up on our own Spanish skills.

Rescue course, BTEC course and coral and fish training groups are now underway, so to avoid a major brain overload, interns and staff can enjoy the sacred ‘power hour’. Whether it be a base revamp, fun fitness, snorkel, swim, study time or a quick snooze in the trusty hammock, it can be a time to revive, energise or get amongst base.

A major highlight of the week was returning to the grand, open seas to resume diving! Aussie intern Chad has already spotted two loggerhead and one hawksbill turtle thus far, and has thoroughly enjoyed rubbing it in, ha!

The first Punta Gruesa Beach Olympics was also held. Hut teams were up against the staff’s infamous ‘Team Lightning’. Three legged fin races, coconut toss, triple jump, egg relay toss, and the wheelbarrow race were events highly entertaining and hilarious to not only staff and crew but to our super expedition directors Cynthia and Lluvia who had popped into base for a visit and to stay for a few days. Well done to team ‘Fanta Santa’ and keep up the awesome wheelbarrow training.