So we are now at the end of the third week on base, everyone has settled in, are getting used to their new environment and the general rhythm of base life.
After a couple of days of bad weather initially, which dampened the moods of most people, we all started diving in earnest with everyone eager to see the coral or fish they had been studying since sitting through the lectures on land. The other great news is we have three more newly qualified divers amongst our fold, congratulations to Charlie, Ryan and Patrick for passing their PADI Open Water Diver course.
The time not diving has not been wasted at all with everyone learning about threats to the reef, fish behaviour or what to do in an emergency with the Emergency First Responder course. Now that we all feel a little more educated about our surroundings and a little more comfortable on how to splint a broken arm, we all hope we’ll be prepared enough if disaster comes knocking…
In the meantime the residential Osprey’s chicks are testing their wings, readying themselves to flee the nest and terrorize the sea’s inhabitants. A couple of scorpions have also received a one way ticket into the bushes after being discovered in the sleeping huts. Not all visitors are un-welcome though; the hut geckos are revered by the human occupants for their ability to swallow copious amounts of mosquitos each night. The resident base iguanas have also been kind enough to pose for numerous photographs whilst basking in the sun.
The weekends have given people opportunity to visit the surrounding area. Some choose to explore the ruins at Cobá whilst others the various night spots of Playa (though be you should really keep track of where you leave your shoes if you decide to have a dance off barefoot). The more adventurous have chosen to snorkel or dive in their time off, either the intriguing world of cavern
diving in the Cenotes or, for the truly brave, diving with Bull sharks!
With the return of some unsettled weather we have been getting on with some other activities involved with volunteering. Teams of volunteers have been making trips to Punta Allen to help continue the construction of the recycling center as well as performing a play about pollution to the local school children. Construction has also started a little closer to home with the retyrement of the old blue tarp roof protecting the compressors for a shiny new varnished wooden one. So as you can probably tell things are going pretty well here on our little outpost in the Caribbean.
We are keeping busy and making strong friendships amongst the diverse nationalities that are represented here. Till the next time.
Neil, Thalie, Freja.