We started the week with the enchanting songs of whales, monitoring whale calls with a hydrophone while watching the fin-tastic breach action from the boat. Unfortunately team My-Nudibranch-Romance had some rather large waves to contend with, but luckily the famous tasty lollies always help to sooth the stomach.
Both teams also had the experience to up-cycle plastic bottle caps collected from beach cleans. Using a plastic machine to grind and melt bottle tops into moulds of some of the ocean’s beautiful animals to use as jewellery or key rings. Combating plastic pollution one small step at a time.
Team Panic-At-The-Reef spent the rest of the week at Guinjata and Paindane fisheries collecting catch measurements and carrying out transect dives. Fisheries provided some impressive hauls including the rock cod, de-bait-ably larger than the average person’s shin, and striking barracuda. Safe to say a work out was achieved helping fishermen lift their kayaks up the beach and going for the occasional swim. Contrary to its name, the team had very successful transect dives and were rewarded by the presence of two awe-inspiring humpbacks, green turtle and an octopus mastering colour changing disguise.
Meanwhile My-Nudibranch-Romance worked with the local schools. Using some creative spirit and a steady hand, a Guinjata classroom now has a painted phonetic alphabet accompanied with some waves and adorable fishes. Their afternoons were filled teaching children about sea safety with imaginative moon symbol dances to explain the tides, role playing current motion with the class and many more fun activities. With the help of the amazing teacher Pascoal, all the classes boosted their sea safety awareness with interactive lessons planned by the team.
To be clichéd, the time has flown on this expedition and we find ourselves at the oh-fish-al end of the adventure. The finale of the week included an almost indestructible but hilarious piñata (giraffe we think), an interesting second attempt at paddle boarding in the surf, volunteering at swim lessons and BRUV deployment / retrieval. Never a dull day at Guinjata bay, whether it be Barry the common room surveillance bat, (accidental) stolen lunchbox trauma or a hefty gecko falling on Becca’s head. Thank you to Love The Oceans for all the support, experience, fun and memories. It’s been a Whaley unforgettable oppor-tuna-ty.