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GVI Marine Training kit

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If you are coming for four weeks click
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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Diving a tope!

Incidental sightings are always a highlight at Pez Maya. This week there were lots of them, but only a few of them can be stated as FACT. Dolphins swimming around the boat while all the divers are underwater? Our trustworthy base manager Rhu swears he saw them… [evidence missing].

Other (more certain) dive sightings included a Caribbean Sting Ray and an enormous Loggerhead Turtle at dive site Special K. An Eagle Ray even turned up at the beach, making an impressive tally of sightings for this week. Prize for the best sighting however goes to Michelle’s spot on a dive with Maura and Sophie – hanging upside down in the water the trio spied a Nurse Shark resting in a small cave, the first shark seen this phase.

Fish monitoring has meanwhile started to take off for many at the base. Kenny and Manolo have completed many practice monitoring dives together. A surprise guest gate-crashed one monitoring session, a curious Shark Sucker intent on following them and attaching itself to every and any fin, mask, snorkel, tank or body part it could locate!

Even those still practicing their species identification were witnesses to very rare marine behavior, more widely known as ‘nuclear hunting’. A Green Moray and a two-foot Yellowfin Grouper paired up in a predatory hunting duo to prey upon  juvenile fish using a two-pronged attack. The grouper waits outside the exit of a double-ended cave, while the moray slithers through the entrance in order to flush out the juvenile fish right into the mouth of the waiting grouper. Those who turn back are met by the waiting moray midway through the cave.

The juveniles consequently had no chance to survive. They couldn’t even be rescued by our Rescue Diver Crew, which is about to graduate from a week-long intensive training course. Hollie, Julia, Craig, Dov and Valeria will soon form the Baywatch Gang in charge of our lives. Not fazed by panicked divers, unconscious scuba casualties or rescue-course instructors jumping off boats mid-journey, these five will soon be ready to help if Mat’s new afro hairstyle weighs him down.

Besides all the diving we were able to do during a wonderful sunny week, a few volunteers made the bumpy, potholed journey to Punta Allen to start the weekly English lessons to a class of thirty seven-year-old local children. After two hours of reciting numbers up to 100 and all the colours of the rainbow, the volunteers moved onto more technical language help. Several local ladies turned up that afternoon requesting help with grammar and tourism-orientated English, including tour guiding and restaurant skills.

Next week will bring the beginning of proper monitoring and more diving, hopefully interspersed with some more mega-fauna and exciting species spots. Maybe Rhu’s theory of jumping dolphins in Pez Maya will finally be proved…

Jemima, Mat and Manuel