So far I have been diving 5 out of my 1st 7 days. We have been meeting with the liveaboard boats that are moored in the bays, which include, the Sea Hunter, Argo and Okeanos II.
Normally the divers on a boat are split into 2 groups of upto 10 divers. I have dived with each group, monitoring my aspects, whilst another ranger, Heiner, has been doing species counts and checking coral health.
On my first dive I was mainly looking at my slate and the divers, but as I got more used to the data that I was recording I became more aware of the teaming life on the steep walls, cleaning stations and beautiful reefs. So far I have dived at Chatham Bay, Vikingo, Pajaro, Manuelita Profundo, Manuelita Canal and Manuelita Sumera. I’ve seem more Hammersharks than I can count, sometimes 75+ on a dive, they come in close as the swoop in to be cleaned by the Barberfish, Some just pass is large groups as if on patrol. The Whitetip Reef sharks look so shy by comparison. Big schools of Jacks circle just off the wall, while on the reef colorful Snapper, Angelfish, Surgeon fish, Triggers, Damsels and Wrasse dance amongst the coral. My photos really do not do it justice, as I’ve been focusing on the work, I hope to get better photos in the next weeks!
As a volunteer I am expected to pitch in with everything; I’ve been raking trails, sweeping floors, entering project data into the computer, cleaning hulls of boats filling tanks to name a few things.
I’ve also had time to explore a little, we hiked to the caves that pirate treasure hunters have dug in the forest, looking for pirate gold (it’s now illegal to go treasure hunting!), I’ve been kayaking to beautiful coastal water falls that reach the oceans, and walked to the impressive bridge made totally of fishing line, nets and hooks that have been confiscated by the Marine Patrol or, recovered ghost nets found drifting off the coast. The bridge shows true reusing and recycling.