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!

Monday, May 21, 2012

New people, new monitoring, new animals...

The new week in Pez Maya has brought with it four new arrivals – we welcome Fergus and Emma from Australia, Sissie from Denmark and Stephan from Scotland to our base here in Pez Maya. Already Stephan has started his Open Water course with Ben, while the others have started on their fish and coral spots already. Older volunteers too have been making good progress: Dov has begun to practice monitoring with Sarah, having learnt all of the adult and juvenile fish species as well as how to size them underwater.  Those surveying corals are also racing on: Jonas is well on the way to conquering Coral Communities spots while Malin, Michelle and Jemima are all tackling Point Intercept. Coral Communities is the survey of diseases and other threats affecting the growth and life of the corals – tell-tale teeth marks of hungry parrotfish munching on the coral for example. Point Intercept surveys the algae, sponges and other organisms which coexist with corals – including, we were thrilled to find out, anemones just like the ones in Finding Nemo (apparently a highly educational film)!


Our marine neighbours have also been out in force this week, keeping those tracking incidental sightings busy in the evenings. Two turtles, one a Hawksbill and one a Green turtle, were seen on the same dive, with several spotted by Captain Jim`s eagle eyes from the boat. Plenty of large lionfish have also been sighted, and probably already earmarked by Ben and his spear-gun for a weekend feast. Less welcome creatures have also arrived on land – the detested mosquito has been trumped by the even-more-despised horsefly, which has wreaked havoc on several people´s ankles, legs and arms. Hard-earned (and perfect) tan lines have been ruined by small red bites, while the most popular evening activity has become the challenge of eluding these pesky flying menaces. The hammocks seem to be the most popular refuge, with a number of afternoons being spent there horsefly-free. 

Others have stepped up to the task of filling the diving tanks more regularly. With fewer people on base this month, the girls have had to stand in for the boys who are usually much more keen to jump onto the tank compressor. Sophie even used the opportunity to learn some new fish species in between switching the tanks over. Other daily tasks have also proved more strenuous – pushing our boats, Vision and Ka’ay, out in the morning and pulling them back up the beach again in the afternoon is the perfect opportunity for the boys to show off their muscles (or, in some cases, build up a few…).

This week also sees the launch of another physical challenge – the three day 150km cycle ride: the Mayan challenge. Taking place at the end of May, volunteers will raise money towards the Punta Allen recycling centre through sponsorship, the website for which is in the process of being set up. Strangely, when attempting to set up the link to the Punta Allen charity, the Imperial War Museum in London popped up as an option for sponsorship…perhaps they want to donate one of their centuries old bicycles to the effort!

As the end of the week draws near we are all excited for our evening fiesta, to get to know our new recruits a little better, practice the weekly limbo contest and, of course, to enjoy the ever-popular Friday evening feast. Rhu has already been cooking up cakes, biscuits, shortbread and a number of other goodies in the past weeks, and kindly sharing them with (strategically) loitering volunteers. The standard of staff-provided treats has been very high (and long may it continue…)!