First day checklist..
Sky: blue. Very.
Sea: calm. Very very. Like, practically solid.
Volunteers: awesome. Everyone started by counting down to the day when they got that tank on and dived.
These first days have been packed, like always.
This group is motivated, and it’s amazing. Vollies are already challenging themselves, testing themselves, asking how many fish and corals do I know? They are half way to becoming Emergency First Responders and our uncertified vollies are going to be fully qualified Open Water Divers very shortly.
No one’s been able to resist getting in the still sea. On our second day, everyone did a 200m swim followed up by ten minutes of floating to get a feel for the Carribbean.
Since then, everyone has had at least one dive, which means at least one underwater highlight per person. For Lara, it was the band of juvenile jack knife fish sheltering by a coral bombie wreathed in anemones. Bec came up shouting she’d seen everything on the fish list. (Didn’t want to burst her bubble, but it was probably every one of the little guys on the fish list. ;-)) Anke was amazed at how many of the coral species she recognised.
Every night, two volunteers walk the nearby San Juan beach with the Turtles’ staff looking for signs of nesting activity. Green and loggerhead turtles have been spotted and volunteers have actually got to watch as these mothers crawl up the beach, choose a spot, dig a nest and go into a near trance-like state while they lay. Measurements are taken and nests are sometimes moved if we’ve spotted a danger the turtle can’t know about.