Last Sunday we were treated to two impromptu workshops from our visiting visual media superstars. Madeline St Clair (@mads_ocean on Instagram) gave us a photo editing workshop, explaining the differences between shooting in air and in water. We learnt some great editing tips using Lightroom, including how to improve the colour balance. Kaush (@kaushman on Instagram), who has incredible video editing skills, showed us how to set up our video cameras to maximise editing potential. We learnt how to use some editing software to draw out the subject, and the importance of image stabilisation.
We started off the week splitting into two pairs, revisiting Guinjata fisheries and whale watching. On Monday night whilst logging our data, we were interrupted by the excited call of Francesca who had noticed the incredible clear sky and visibility of the Milky Way that evening. We spent an hour stargazing and trying to get a decent shot whilst Francesca and Kaush created masterpieces!
We completed five transect dives and a snorkel transect this week, greatly improving our skills and our fish identifying confidence. We had fun trying freediving for the first time on the snorkel transect, and afterwards we had a playful freediving competition with the staff. The staff easily won! On the return from snorkelling, we had a mini ocean safari on which we witnessed and recorded lots of humpback whale activity really close to the boat.
On Saturday Emily and Bennath started their Advanced Open Water PADI alongside Bex, and Shane joined us to refine our buoyancy control, as well as fish, coral and invertebrae identifying skills. We had fun doing somersaults underwater and having a running race on the sandy ocean floor. Saturday evening, we took a return trip to our favourite place, On Top of the World. The best way to say goodbye to our swimming instructor buddy, Mya.
Sunday, we headed to Tofo for a surf lesson with Tony and Ali at The Surf Shack, who guided us with the waves and were very patient with us, as some not-so-pro surfers. Emily was a natural and we couldn’t drag her out of the water. After a very salty session in the surf, we headed to Dathonga for some lunch, which was a beautiful restaurant serving us delicious tacos and bruschetta. We then wandered round the local markets before heading to the Sunset Lodge to enjoy some drinks and a stunning view of the sun setting over the mangrove forests and palm tree-laced horizon. A beautiful weekend to end a beautiful third week with LTO.
Bennath, Bex, Emily and Shane