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New Volunteers and a New Record for Sharking!

By Lara Tlatlik 2 weeks ago

Once a month new Volunteers arrive on Curieuse Island and this week it was intake. I, personally, was super exited to meet the new group, who was called the ‘most diverse group’ to come to Curieuse. After a big camp clean and half of a day waiting for them, I was not disappointed when they finally arrived. Some of them called the U.K., Canada or USA their home and some others were from South Africa, Spain or Poland. So, definitely a wild mix of different cultures.

In their introduction to the island, I watched them meet Obama (our Camp Tortoise) for the first time, learn all the basic information about Curieuse creatures and learn what we are doing and what GVI stands for. All of that reminded me of my first days on Curieuse a month ago. How exited everyone was to see the turtles/tortoises and how everyone had to choke when we saw a centipede for the first time while having our first Base tour…  They reminded me of the first time cutting branches with machetes and the traditional “how to open a coconut” tutorial. Pretty similar to when I arrived was the bread-making session and the visit to the Doctors House. Because of my familiarity, I was asked to lead the new volunteers in these two activities 😀

Another highlight of my trip was definitely the first time sharking! Yesterday, the new volunteers got to have their first day of sharking! Every one of them was super exited and ready to catch a “Lemon”, not a “shark”! That is what Victoria (our Science Coordinator) taught all of us to scream if we actually catch a Lemon, Blacktip or Hammerhead shark. Otherwise, people may be alarmed that we are screaming “shark” and think we are in need of help! So, all of us were prepared to scream the right thing and to catch the shark with a dip net using CONFIDENCE!

We did not have to wait for a long time because the first Lemonshark was in our net after 8 minutes. It was just as exciting for me as it was for the people who arrived this week because I had never seen a Lemonshark before either. That night we caught 3 sharks in total and the cool part was they were 3 different species. A Lemonshark, a Blacktip shark and a hammerhead shark. It was the first time that 3 different species of sharks had been caught on one sharking, so everyone who did sharking before knew how lucky we were!

After a really nice sunset, we went back to base and played cards as a group to wind down. It was definitely one of the best evenings here on Curieuse and I am really looking forward to the next 3 weeks with the new volunteers!