After an exhilarating Sunday surfing trip to Tofo, our first team, Panic-at-the-reef, set off early next morning to Paindane. Meanwhile, the second group, My-nudibranch-romance, set off to Guinjata Bay, eager to collect valuable fisheries data. Team 2 managed to gather data from spear fishermen, even discovering two pregnant East-coast rock lobsters before a sudden storm rolled in. In contrast, Team 1 faced unfortunate circumstances as they returned home later in the evening, soaked and shivering, unable to collect any data.
Our whale watching groups, however, were treated to a remarkable sight of what appeared to be a heat pod of ten humpback whales! Amidst the stormy morning, they also spotted several whales breaching and creating a spectacle with their fin and fluke slapping. The excitement of witnessing this display lifted our spirits despite the turbulent weather.
As the storm persisted, flooding our huts and bringing unexpected cold, we collectively decided to take a much-needed day off. We sought solace in the common room, engaging in board games and movies. The day culminated with a friendly competition of table tennis that provided an entertaining outlet for our pent-up energy.
For the remainder of the week we took turns visiting the two bays to collect fisheries data, engaging in whale watching and, finally seizing the opportunity to dive into the water and conduct transect surveys, as the weather began calming down. We have successfully completed eight transects this week and have even been lucky enough to hear the sounds of a mother and calf humpback whilst we scanned the reef for nudibranch.
We’re are all looking forward to winding down with more fun dives and transects across the weekend. What better way of winding down after a long week of logging than enjoying some karaoke, board games and movie nights.