Hey hey hey. This is Mouna, one of the new fish volunteers at GVI Cap Ternay in Seychelles. Base has become my home for the past week and a half and it’s definitely a change from a world filled with phones, internet and every other form of technology.
The first week was long and busy but in a good kind of way. I have one more dive until I complete my PADI Advanced Open Water (YAY!) and it has definitely been an experience. Just a heads up: If you can navigate on land it does not guarantee you can navigate underwater.
Safety stops for three minutes are usually boring for me. You stay at 5 metres and all you think about is how much you really need to use the bathroom and that you would love to have a spoon of peanut butter. OR! You see the FIRST WHALE SHARK OF THE GVI SEASON!!!! Let me tell you, the whole thought of eating peanut butter was definitely forgotten. This whale shark swam right over us and now that I think about it, it is still exciting to me that I saw one. On my way here I didn’t think I would see one because I leave right before whale shark season really hits, but I did! Dancing underwater with a bunch of scuba gear is a bit more difficult than on land but it is possible, but it is easier than singing and yelling. Also, for someone who isn’t super experienced with scuba diving and buoyancy, watching a whale shark swim right above you makes you stay still and perfectly buoyant. You’re in awe when you see a whale shark swim so close to you.
Turtle dives started up this past week and I was lucky to be on one of the first dives for it. I didn’t see a turtle on my turtle dive but I did see a Hawksbill turtle on a free dive. Swimming next to a turtle made me so happy. I felt like the turtle from Finding Nemo, so chill and laid back. When you aren’t practicing skills or being tested diving is super relaxed, especially next to a turtle who doesn’t seem to have a care in the world.
One of the best days was spending time with the kids from President’s Village. Of course they are constantly asking for the cookies we baked them but they also want to have fun and splash around in the water. Each child is so unique and creative in their own way and it’s so nice to see. Those kids make your day when you know you’re there joining in on the laughter. Plus, I also got two cookies out of it and who would say no to that? Cookies and the beach are the ways to my heart!
I’m liking this lifestyle of diving and studying every day with a group of people who have become family. You learn a lot about a person when you aren’t constantly on phones and laptops. We’ve all become more physically active as well. The hike to Cap Matoopa was supposed to be leisurely. No one told us it would be a steep rock climbing excursion, but the fact that we climbed it made us feel more accomplished…and hungry. No. Starving. For McDonald’s. Once our group made it to the top the sight was exhilarating and I’m happy we hiked the intense trek up. I think what made it more enjoyable was to be with people who in just one week have become my family and support.
There is never a dull moment on base at Cap Ternay. No boring people allowed. All entertainment all the time.
Ready? Grunt if not.
We’ll roll on roll. 3, 2, 1, ROLL!