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Published: January 28th 2007
Hope all is well in the States. I have been in the Seychelles for two and a half weeks now and am quite accustomed to island life. I arrived on Jan. 9th in Victoria and spent a day on the beach at Beau Vallon before i was picked up and taken to the GVI base which is a 45 min bus ride from the capital and largest city of Victoria, and a 30 min walk from Port Launay and the nearest store and bus stop. Our base is located on Cap Ternay between two idyllic beaches, grand anse and baie ternay. Baie Ternay is directly north of base and is where almost all of our diving has been so far. We have been diving every day except for Wednesdays and weekends and i have logged 17 dives and several hours of snorkeling. The members and staff of the expedition come from all over, there are 2 girls from the US, one from Australia, one Kiwi, 2 canadians, one girl from mexico and the rest are scattered about the UK. So i am taking in more than just Seychellois culture.
Life on the base is no resort. We
are fairly self sustained and have plenty of chores such as: cooking and baking our own bread, refilling oxygen tanks on the compressor for diving, re-fueling, cleaning, and repairing out boat "manta", cleaning and drying the kit, weekly trips into Victoria to buy our food ( our main staples are rice, lentils, pasta, semi-fresh veggies, and porridge), radio duty, and the cleaning of everything else on the base. All of this work begins at 6am and with daily lectures on corals, turtles, and the various marine invertebrates we are currently studying and a few hours of diving, our days are plenty busy. Last week's diving consisted of power point and underwater Coral ID tests with plenty of fun latin names like Siderastreidae, psammacora and Poritidae, goniopora and many many more. Me and four others were the first to pass both tests friday (passing being a 95% or higher on the power point tests and a 100% on underwater tests). We will begin our coral surveys tommorow which consist of laying out quadrants and transects underwater and recording the frequency, size and distribution of all of the 50+ coral species we have learned and are native to the Seychelles. All the
information we gather, and that has been gathered from GVI Seychelles since 1999 is handed over to SCMRT-MPA (Seychelles Center for Marine Research and Technology - Marine Parks Authority. which also operates from our base) for further analysis.
On the weekends there is time to relax and a much deserved BBQ. The local beer, SeyBrew is very expensive at 15 rupees or about 3 dollars a bottle, but the rum is cheap and tastes like petrol with sugar added. On the weekends i keep myself busy exploring miles of untouched beaches and climbing on the huge granitic boulders that cover the island. The first group of four left for Silhouette island this saturday for a week of sea turtle nesting surveys ( I saw my first turtle hatchling last friday in BT centre reef... it looked lost) Silhouette is a nearly uninhabited island 25 miles north of Cap Ternay and we take turns monitoring the beaches for Nesting Hawksbill and green turtles and hatchlings.
Thats all i've got for now.. I hope school is going well for everyone, I can't say that i miss it yet.
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