Alice, Keelan, Lucy & Sam
Monday: Started with coral reef surveying and whale watching, vis not great so surveying was difficult but whale watchers saw plenty of whales. A few even within 100m of the boat. Many beer pong games were played that night, as a celebration of our fellow volunteers leaving. With Mac ‘n’ chees to fill our stomachs.
Tuesday: Another wonderful day was spent at Paindane, with a beach clean on the way and many fish to see. With 8 hours of roasting in the sun leading to our new group nickname of The Sundried-Tomatoes. Only one catch came in that day that were easily identified and logged.
Wednesday: Coral reef surveying and whale watching commenced again, with vis equally as bad. Whale watchers saw a few whales in the afternoon and were treated with dolphin and turtle sightings. Guinjata fisheries pulled up 51 fish that were logged with efficiency and followed by an early night by some very tired volunteers.
Thursday: The return of Paindane was upon us, with the sunrise on our backs and the sound of waves crashing alongside us. The day was ripe for fisherman, with 34 fish caught in Paindane and a further 31 in Guinjata. During our Paindane visit we enjoyed some snorkelling with first hand experiences of spearfishing play.
Friday: The masks were put back on yet again and 12m down we went for another reef survey. Vis was poor but moral was high, with rewards of many Nudibranch sightings. For the whale watchers an exhilarating show of tail slapping right from the get go. The Sundried-tomatoes are only becoming a stronger team and with surfing on the horizon and great food in our stomachs we look forward to what the future has in store.
Our little group of volunteers has powered through their first week of research! The first week has offered a mix of diving, whale watching and fisheries research, so all-in-all a great introduction to the life as a research volunteer. A huge thank you to our new favourite quartet for helping get our two local schools ready for the new school term by giving the blackboards a new coat of paint on Saturday (the volunteers got a few specks of black paint as well, so maybe we should rename them to the Dalmatians rather than the Sundried Tomatoes…)
Monday, it was time again for Keelan and Alice to dive into the depths for more data collection whilst Sam and Lucy kept an eye out for whales, with plenty seen. The previous weekend had treated us well with a visit to Tofo and funky trousers made all round.
Tuesday, an early morning was had as the team travelled to Paindane. Many fish were logged that evening and lots of after sun applied with another scorching day. Moral was high with everyone in good spirits awaiting eagerly for the nights meal followed quickly by bed.
Wednesday, Sam and Lucy rallied up and collected some more valuable data with visibility clear and nudibranchs being a common occurrence. Taking shelter in the shade Keelan and Alice had learnt the previous days’ mistakes, although after the first couple of whale sighting the sun was the last thing on their mind.
Thursday, due to the outstanding conditions we decided that diving was in order! 8m visibility meant there was no time to waste, and with what felt like 20 minutes, the day had ended. A local take on chilli con-carne was eaten to see us off.
Friday, it was the hottest day yet, with Lucy applying an ocean’s worth of suncream. The locals were out in force seizing the ideal fishing conditions, over 100 fish would be caught! A long night for us, but an end of good day for the local fishermen. Now the weekend beckons with a trip to a local deep reef being the talk of the group and a trip along the estuary planned, a short break before the team continues its important work here in Mozambique!
Another exciting week with our volunteers! The weather has been outstanding the past week, which means that conditions have been nothing short of perfect for fieldwork. Everyone is getting their dose of Vitamin Sea in before next week on land, teaching at the schools. But for now – we’re looking forward to sunny weekend of diving with the team!