Week four on base has been rather bitter sweet. With a break in the weather everyone has been diving lots and congratulations to everyone who passed their PADI Advanced Open water course. The skies have been blue and the sea crystal clear, though waking up to fog in the Caribbean has certainly been a new experience for all of us on base!
Not only has the good weather meant more diving but has also seen an increase in the incidental sightings. We’ve had visits to the reef from a Hawksbill Turtle, Rays and even a couple of Bull Sharks cruising through the shallows.
With the escalation in dives and with all the hard studying starting to pay off we now have several people onto practise monitoring, just one step away from the actual monitoring which is getting very exciting.
The week has also brought a supliment to our vegetarian diets in form of Lionfish. ‘Lionfish!’ I hear you say. Yes the beautiful Indoneasian Lionfish, often quite prized amongst those who keep aquarium fish, which normally non of us would ever dream of harming. Unfortunately they are a invasive species within the Caribbean.
With no natural preditors and a breeding season which instead of being limited to a few months now lasts all year round means they are having a devasting affect on the local marine life. To try and combat the ever increasing problem, staff members will sometimes carry spear guns to remove any we find whilst on a dive. Plus they also taste great with lime.
Unfortunately week four also means the departure of the first group of volunteers. With sad hearts we say good bye to André, Eileen, Sarah, Willie and Vidi. You will all be sorely missed! Good luck in your travels or studies you are all heading away for.
After all the tearful goodbyes we now face a long weekend away to recuperate and allow the newly arriving volunteers to settle in who we are all eager to meet…
Freja, Thalie and Neil.