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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Closer to finishing a stage... fish and coral monitoring moving forward, diving courses advancing and more incidental sightings!!

We are nearing the end of phase. It is amazing that eleven weeks have gone so fast, time flies when everyone is having such a fantastic time. Against all the challenges the weather has thrown at us this phase, both fish and coral monitoring has begun and data

is being collected. So a huge congratulations goes to all those who are now successfully monitoring.

More congratulations go to all those who have successfully completed their rescue course, and are now qualified rescue divers. With one rescue course complete another rescue course is beginning. However, due to the dreaded wind we have had to visit Casa Cenote to start the course. After 5 hours in the water practicing tows and how to rescue panicked and tired divers, we went for a relaxing dive to finish and were lucky enough to see Tarpon, huge fish about 2ft long, and a night heron stalking what looked like a huge red crab but turned out to be a shoal of fish. This Cenote is a haven for wildlife the abundance of which is astounding. Also congratulations to all the newly qualified open water divers, who are now undertaking their advanced course.

There have been a few more incidental sightings, numerous species of ray, and moray eels have been seen. Weather wise we have managed to dive most days. However, there have been some exciting tropical storms throughout this week. In order to pass the time a treasure hunt was organized. Four teams followed cryptic clues which took them to the remotest corners of base, in search of rare and wonderful objects, namely clothing, coconuts and sea shells. In the end the contest was so tight it could only be resolved by a thrilling game of spinny pole.

We have also had a productive week in which the wall mural has begun to take shape, the background and the start of the coral reef are coming along well. There is still a huge amount of wall to paint but it is getting there, Thank you to everyone who has lent

a helping hand. Alongside which a raft was constructed, it was made of bamboo poles and many many lengths of rope. Amazingly it worked, managing to support four people successfully and we paddled it using the end of palm leaves which make surprisingly efficient paddles.

Tuesday was a sad sad day when we were forced to say goodbye to Robbie and stick him on the plane back to bonny old England. We are already missing you so much mate, hope it is not to cold. Holly is unfortunately leaving us tomorrow for a two week holiday so we will have to have a big send off on Friday night.