Isla Del Coco, Week 1
It is my first week here on Isla del Coco as a volunteer with Go Pro, and it is beautiful. Nothing but green. It is so peaceful and quiet.
I travelled in on the Aggressor liveaboard: Okeanos II, a 36-hour journey. This is the longest I have spent on a boat, and I kept rocking on my feet for the first day back on land.
On my first day here, we travelled from the liveaboard to the island at 5am. I was back on the same liveaboard at 9.30 that morning with Roberto, one of the park rangers, to give a presentation about the island and the diving. They were informed on the rotation of dive sites, respecting the reef and its marine life, and the available options for visiting the island itself.
So much life in the water
I returned to the same liveaboard the next day for my first dive at the island. WOWEE. I hadn’t experienced diving like this before. Clear water and so so much life. In my first few days of diving here I have seen Hammerheads, Whitetip and Blacktip Reef Sharks, Galapagos Sharks, Eagle Rays, many Marble Rays, and countless species of fish.
There is lots to be looking at and recording at the same time whilst monitoring. I have been assigned two data collections so far and have started monitoring independently, following a group from the liveaboard. We record sightings of 22 different species including fish, sharks, rays and turtles. As well as that I record any infected or bleached corals, any waste or fishing lines or mechanical damage to the reef, such as if an anchor has been dropped. Also, general information; temperature, weather, current, depth and so one.
It’s an amazing opportunity to get to work with the rangers here.It is also to get to spend time with and dive with the people coming through on the liveaboards. They all have so many dive stories and photos and videos from different countries. The boat I travelled here with leaves at the end of this week. I am not sure what happens when they leave, whether I will move to monitor with another boat or learn anther monitoring technique. But there is plenty of diving for me to be doing!
One week down, four left!