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Thursday, December 16, 2010

End of phase in Punta Gruesa- top moments!

It’s difficult to believe that it is the end of phase and that we’ve been here for 10 weeks but here we are. The boats are now out of the water, mega-clean is done and dusted and everyone is packing for the next part of their adventure.

Over the past 10 weeks everyone has worked really hard and as a result of that we’ve got loads of monitoring done. Despite the weather often working against us we managed to complete coral surveys at seven of the nine survey sites and fish surveys at eight sites!

Along the way we were rewarded with loads of incredible sightings. There are far too many to describe them all but here are a few…

By the end of phase there were only a handful of people who had not yet had the pleasure of swimming with dolphins but on the very last day, three of them were approached by one very friendly individual and got to snorkel with it after their dive. Perfect timing!

Another favourite was the goliath grouper. These fish are ENORMOUS! This one was about 5ft in length and was hanging out in a swim-through. As we were excitedly watching this gigantic fish, a hawksbill turtle cruised towards us, eyed us up curiously, then swam off at a leisurely pace. The grouper then stayed there for the rest of the afternoon giving the rest of the days divers the opportunity to catch a glimpse of him.

Then there were the sharks. One lucky group saw a massive nurse shark at the deep site, Los Gorditos. It must have been at least 10ft long. Huge! Another group of divers were on a fun dive at Las Cavernas, a beautiful site with loads of swim-throughs, where they almost swam straight into a nurse shark. A very close encounter!

Beach olympics was a brilliant day. Especially the 3-legged race. On the “GO” one pair toppled over at the start line bringing everyone in the viscinity down with them. On top of that was the spotted eagle ray that was swimming along being followed by about 20 angelfish; the tiny phosphorescent plankton that glowed bright blue in the water column; the trip to the shipwreck; the snake that fell out of a tree and landed on Xandy; the bonfires on the beach; the osprey catching a fish near the boat; the flying fish that attacked Kyle; the day trip to Lake Bacalar. The list could go on and on…

Now it’s time to move on though. A lot of people are heading of to do placements in dive shops for 12 weeks. Some people are heading home for Christmas, some are planning a well deserved rest in Belize, some are off to explore Guatemala’s Mayan ruins and volcanoes and learn a bit of Spanish and others are heading up to Playa del Carmen to do bull shark dives and to enjoy the bars and clubs along the beach.

It’s been an amazing 10 weeks. Thanks to everyone who was a part of it and best of luck to everyone on the next part of their adventure!