The first half of our April expedition is already over! How time flies! Read below to find out what our expedition participants have been up to…
Aisyah, Jamie and Alicia
After waving goodbye to our friends from the previous program on Sunday afternoon, we spent the rest of the day relaxing before our program officially started on Monday. Two of us had already been here a week to complete our PADI Open Water – something that was equally fun and challenging.
Monday and Tuesday were spent in training. Through lectures, we learned a lot about fisheries and coral reefs in general, but also in the context of the local area and how our volunteering contributes towards local environmental protection. This really helped to give us a sense of purpose to what we were doing! Tuesday morning saw a very early start – awake in time for the sun to rise as we strolled down the beach to Paindane Bay to practice data collection on fisheries. Our ride back home on the cruiser felt adventurous as we zipped down the dirt roads, ducked beneath trees, and took in the incredible views on land.
Wednesday morning also saw an early start as we headed down to the beach for 7am, ready and waiting for fishermen to come in. Although no local fishermen went out, we did get to see some incredible game fish from the sports fishermen – including a yellowfin tuna! It was nice to interact with other people and to answer questions about the work we were doing.
Finally, it was time to put those newly acquired diving skills to use. On Thursday, we went out onto the reef to practice our scientific diving skills. The conditions were less than ideal, however, and unfortunately we had to end the dive early. Logging our data was so difficult due to poor visibility. We don’t feel too disheartened though, as our second attempt on Friday was a great success! Everyone’s faces were beaming with pride – our first successful scientific dive!
Tune in next week to read about what’s been happening at our base…