23/07/13 Turtles & Whalesharks

By 4 years ago
Categories Mahe and Curieuse

Sadly, for the July volunteers our time here is more than half done. It’s amazing how full our days have been: workshops, orientations, diving…and we’ve been successful! The ten students in the Advanced Open Water Diver PADI course have all been accredited and everyone has passed their Group 1 Fish Recognition exams. We can proudly tell the difference between an Emperor Angelfish and a Regal Angelfish, an Indian Redfin Butterflyfish and a Black-backed Butterflyfish and even a Soldierfish and a Squirrelfish. This week we’re concentrating on fish spotting, fish methodology and the more experienced volunteers are getting on with everyone’s ultimate goal: surveys.

Weekends around here are spent at leisure. You’ll find volunteers snorkeling in the bay, climbing Cap Matoopa, doing laundry (followed by a hunt for coveted clothes pegs) or heading into Victoria. This past weekend, a group of eleven volunteers went on a night dive to the Twin Barges, a double shipwreck. For those of us who’d never been night diving before (or explored a shipwreck!) it was a thrilling experience. Afterwards, we enjoyed a delicious Creole buffet full of local fish, vegetables and DESSERT! Desserts are such a rarity around here that one volunteer was seen visiting the dessert bar no less than 4 times!

On the diving front, Lee C. and Ricky have now joined the ranks of Sam, Mouna, Bart and Laura after viewing GVI’s second Whale Shark of the season. Suddenly Hawksbill and Green Turtle sighting are becoming less exciting as the Whale Shark season creeps in upon the Seychelles. Everyone is determined to see at least one before the month is over.

And now for some exploring of the rest of the Seychelles…visits to La Digue and Praslin Island are planned as volunteers try to appreciate the beauty and mystique of this beautiful country.

Laura McGinty