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Sun: 1. My skin: 0

By Jen Hughes 4 years ago
Categories Mahe and Curieuse

Picture this: a beautiful white sand beach, bustling with little crabs, surrounded by mountains covered in a green blanket of trees and the bluest water you have ever seen. This picture is the new home to 15 marine conservation volunteers at the Cap Ternay research base.

The first week at base has been a busy combination of diving, lectures, orientations, and getting to know everyone on base. Some volunteers have been completing their PADI Advanced Open Water qualifications, while the others complete refresher dives. The underwater world here at Cap Ternay is spectacular. Fish swimming right in front of you, close enough to touch (we wouldn’t of course!), and amazing coral displays. Some people have been lucky enough to see turtles and sharks, but I am not one of those people (yet). Did I mention that the water here is incredibly warm? Cold showers are always a welcome treat after a hot, sunny day, especially to those of us who have lost the battle with the sun. Like me. Sun: 1. My skin: 0.

Barbecue night is upon us, which signifies the end of the working week and the start of the weekend, where people have planned to leave base and explore Mahe Island. Most of us are heading into Victoria for internet connections and a look around, before heading back to base and going for snorkels in the bay and swimming to Secret Beach to relax in the sun, while everyone else has opted for a restful weekend around base.

Everyone is settling into volunteer life and daily routines as well as studying the fish, coral, or invertebrate species they must know before being able to survey. All staff are friendly and knowledgeable which has made settling in and workshops easier. We have all been completing Emergency First Response training on base with the two instructors, Liv and Danny, which has been a good mix of dramatic injury portrayals, heroic displays of CPR, and watching 90’s style information videos.

On a final, cheesy note; all the volunteers are excited to be here and are looking forward to the many friends, experiences, and memories we are all bound to make.

Until next week,

Jen Hughes