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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Seven days straight of diving, reef creatures spotted and monitoring!

Hola amigos!

So another week has passed and now week 11 draws to a close. Although this is quite a sad time as many of us approach our last few days on base, we have had little time to contemplate our imminent departure and have been busy making up for lost time.

With moving the weekend and a glorious break in the weather we have managed to make seven days straight of diving! This has meant a lot of effort and hard work from both the staff and volunteers alike but has produced such rewarding returns.

Congratulations to Hollie and Julia for both passing their PADI Open Water, to Dov, Charlene, Craig, Kenny and Will who are latest PADI Advanced Open Water divers and finally to Team Hero (Alastair, Danny, Konrad and Neil) for all completing the rigorous training to become PADI Rescue Divers. A massive thanks also goes to all the staff for their patience and expert tuition which has got us all through.

In science news the monitoring is starting to come along in leaps and bounds. With Al, Charlie, Danny and Nicola moving from practice monitoring onto real monitoring we now have a full Coral monitoring boat and a complete Fish team. This has meant within a few days we have managed to fully monitor two separate sites which is great news. The rest of the volunteers are not far behind with more and more passing tests and moving onto practice monitoring by the day.

There has also been another huge increase in incidental sightings this week with Hawksbill Turtles, Southern Stingrays and even a Marlin gracing us with their presence. This has mainly been helped by a little experiment by the staff and taken a little faith by the volunteers..

Although the news of getting up to start duties at 5am was not the most popular of announcements at dinner we managed to scrape our weary bodies and tired eyes out of our bunks and get the diving day started with boats in the water by 6am, almost an hour before we would normally be up! This lead to some of the most amazing boat rides with the sun bursting over the horizon and everyone keen to get under the water with the possibility of seeing sharks. Although no one managed to spot the elusive sleek hunters there were a few divers circled by Shark Suckers meaning there was definitely something big in the area.
Now comes time for us all to relax with the weekend finally here and a well-deserved beer or three.

Until next week.

Neil, Freja, Thalie.