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“Welcome to Cap Ternay!”

By Elise 3 years ago
Categories Mahe and Curieuse

One of our four week volunteers, Elise, tells us about her first impressions arriving to our base in paradise, here in the Seychelles. In just a few weeks she has already got through much of her training, including fish ID, her PADI Advanced Open Water, and EFR.


“Welcome to Cap Ternay!”


These were the first words I hear climbing out of the van into GVI’s Cap Ternay base exactly one week ago. The camp is a diver’s paradise, tucked away in the tropical wilderness, something vastly different to the cold and rain of the North of England that I’m used to. As it was so different I was naturally a little apprehensive of what my home for the next month would have in store for me.


The staff, or ‘oldies’ as we call them, welcomed us ‘newbies’ into camp life with open arms. The majority of the first few days were spent settling into the duties that help keep the base ship shape. These are split up into 3 main groups: Grounds who are responsible for the maintenance and tidying of communal areas, cleaning the bathrooms and collecting fruit; Boats and Tanks who set up all the dive gear needed for a day out on the boat and are responsible for refilling empty tanks at the compressor; and Kitchen who, as you’d have guessed, prepare all the meals to fuel us hungry volunteers. It wasn’t long before we got settled in to the busy routine of camp life and when you have such an amazing view from your balcony it makes the early starts totally worth it.


Obviously I’ve hardly even mentioned the highlight of Cap Ternay: the diving. With daily dives taking place in the idyllic bay, only 5 minutes walk away, it’s hard not to want to stay longer. This was proven by my first dive which will stay with me forever! Not long after plunging into the steamy 30 degree water the reef comes into view. Fish everywhere. Coral as far as the eye can see. Immediately I see why a project like this is so desperately needed, such diverse marine life needs protecting and monitoring to prevent it from being lost forever. Finally as we’re about to finish the dive I see my first shark! An 80cm white tip reef shark swims right by me, a memory I know I’ll treasure forever.


Since then I’ve also been lucky enough to see turtles, rays, dolphins and even more white tip sharks. Also in this first week we ‘newbies’ passed our PADI advanced diver qualification and we are starting week two on identification dives of either coral, fish or invertebrates, depending on our particular specialty. Although, we are a little tired after a fun weekend off in the nearby town of Beau Vallon and the capital city Victoria. I’ve made some pretty incredible memories so far and met some amazing people and thankfully I still have three weeks to go.