After a chilled Sunday of diving and making the most of the lovely beach, we seem to have brought the British weather with us as the week started off with high winds, storms and rain. However, this didn’t stop our intrepid team heading out at dawn to Guinjata and Pandaine several times this week to see if the local fishermen would be braving the weather along with the South African’s who had arrived for their annual Game Fishing Competition. Cue a lot of fishermen standing staring morosely at the ocean as it was far too dangerous to head out. A few of the competition boats did make an attempt on Tuesday, but turned back after a couple of hours. This happily did give us the opportunity to measure some fish and practice our data capture skills.
Wednesday and Thursday were far better days so we got to go diving to do some coral surveys. This put buoyancy and underwater skills to the test as there was a lot of current and surge. Some of the video footage was questionable as trying to stay close to the transect tape was easier said than done. Once the work was complete we got the rest of the dive to look around at the amazing fish life on the reefs. Highlights were Porcupine fish (Diodon liturosus), Blue Spotted Stingray (Neotrygon kuhlii) and an Octopus (Octopus bulgaris).
The Game Fishing competition finally got underway on Wednesday, so by the end of Friday we had 3 days of recording all the fish that they caught – 307 in total. Our days at the local Fisheries also weren’t wasted as we took the opportunity to collect Ocean Trash from the beach. Sadly there’s no shortage of things to collect as the wind and currents wash a lot up on this coastline.
All this coral, fisheries and trash information has had to be captured so we’ve put in some long hours this week to make sure the data was correctly logged and filed so it can be used for analysis.
The best thing this week though is that the Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) have been sighted in the bay (not by us unfortunately), so we’re looking forward to doing Cetacean work in the next few weeks!