I’ve had another jam-packed week! On Monday we had a fun dive around a site called Vato Soa, it was the third time I have been there, but the first time I’ve really had a chance to explore the site and relax, rather than doing a specific task. In the afternoon I started my EFR (Emergency First Responder) course! I vaguely remember doing first-aid training while in Primary school, but it was loads of fun to learn it again and even more! We learnt about CPR and rescue breaths, how to put someone in the recovery position and how to support someone with a spinal injury. Plus, everyone had a laugh while doing it!
Tuesday was another busy morning, with a fish point out at 6am! It was on a site called the artificial reef, a reef created for local fishermen to have a site to fish without damaging the local reefs. The current was really strong there and it was difficult to swim against, so I was definitely tired for the rest of the day. We then had a Seagrass ID session and went wading out in the low tide to have a look at the coastal species just outside Reef Doctor. I definitely feel like I am getting the hang of the ID, I just need to get better at saying their Latin names now!
Wednesday was a national holiday, so there was no work! Everyone had a lazy morning then walked over to the nearest hotel with a pool and spent the afternoon there, with a refreshing cold drink and cold pool to enjoy. We then headed into the village and bought enough of the local street food ( sambosas, potato cakes, mango salad and bruchettes) to feed an army and feasted! It was loads of fun and I was definitely stuffed for the rest of the evening!
Thursday was dedicated to a seagrass survey in Beravy, we sailed over there in a pirogue, then spend 3 hours squelching around in the sediment, measuring how many planted seagrass shoots survived their first few months in that area. It was hot work! We headed back to the camp in time for lunch, and then spent the rest of the early afternoon studying fish and seagrass species, along with reading through our EFR manuals. At 3:30 we had to rush off on a dive though, testing our knowledge in a mock seagrass survey! There was a really strong surge pulling us everywhere, so it was difficult, but I feel like I understand the techniques needed!
Today we had another early dive, this time to test out buoyancy skills while diving, we had to hover 1m above the bottom completely still, and try to do fine-detail work without damaging anything and trying to stay as still as possible! It was hard work but also quite rewarding when done well. This afternoon, I have the rest of my EFR training, learning more about assessments and general first aid.
This weekend will be spent on camp relaxing, I think, as I have nothing planned, I will sit around and read, enjoying the sun!
Next week, Camp manager and Base manager?!