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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Settling into routines, Turtle festival and farewell to Erin!

Another week has passed us by at Punta Gruesa, and it seems the weeks are passing faster and faster. We have all settled into our routines now, with each of us getting in six or seven dives per week. Duties have sped up in the mornings, and as a result we have been rewarded with a trial period of 15 minutes bonus sleep in the mornings, with duties now beginning at half past six. We are all getting a good handle on our fish and coral IDs, and it looks like we will begin monitoring on the reef next week.

Full moon rising over the sea as Mischa and Niels look on.

This last weekend proved to be an interesting break from base, with a welcome distraction in the form of the Tortuga (Turtle) festival in Tulum. Ten volunteers and one staff member made it to Tulum for the weekend, with great expectations of turtle games, turtle themed food and children to entertain. The first day fulfilled all expectations for those who went, however by the time the rest of us got there the rain had caused the remainder of the three day festival to be cancelled. We made the best of the situation by visiting some local shops in the torrential rain and crossing the streets that had turned to rivers. We danced a few hours away to an ecclectic assortment of music from 50s and 60s rock to salsa and modern hits at a lovely little Mexican bar. Amazingly, we all made it back onto the same bus the next day ready for the 4 hour trip back to base.

Whilst the rain of the last few days has been a nice respite from the heat, and allowed us all to get bonus showers, we have also been blessed with a new onslaught of mosquitoes surely numbering in their billions. Repellants and remedies are still being trialled.

Torrential rain continues throughout the weekend.

This week is also sadly the last week for Erin, our brilliant Kiwi staff member who is going to be sorely missed. She is a wealth of information, always has a smile to offer and is truly respected by staff and volunteers alike. Her year at Punta Gruesa is coming to an end and she will be off to explore new opportunities. We are all looking forward to her going away party this weekend, however next week the base will seem empty without her. Thanks for everything and all the best Erin!