Apologies for the extremely long time it has taken me to finally post a blog! It’s my first ever blog so here goes! 🙂
So I am newbie when it comes to diving in the tropics. Predominately all my diving has been in the U.K. I learnt in Plymouth alongside my undergrad and I loved it! Yes it was challenging but I guess that’s why I loved it because it was rewarding. That is why I finished my degree I wanted to challenge myself even more. Marine conservation is something I knew I wanted to go into and when I saw the Zoox experience programme I knew it was perfect. I get to widen my knowledge and skills in marine conservation as well as widen my experience of diving. After arriving in Puerto Galera, meeting the lovely Chloe and JJ I got some well earned sleep and then went for my first dive on a reef on White Beach, just a short tricycle ride from our beautiful village of Aninuan. Chloe warned me that there are much better reefs in the Philippines and not to be too disappointed. Well…. as soon as I got down I became very excited by the sea being bright blue! I then got very excited about all the amazing things I could see. Beautiful colourful fish and lots of them! There were all different types of coral and colourful anemone. I saw lionfish, puffer fish and sea snakes and amazing nudibranchs. All in all I came out of that dive jumping with excitement and also to think that there were much better reefs around the area, wow!
Then surely enough I was mesmerized again when I did a dive at Sabang. This is where I saw my first ever turtle whilst diving! I have waited so long to see one and there it was swimming gracefully out of the wreck, past me and off into the blue. I just froze; my surroundings vanished as I watched the turtle swim into the distance. I didn’t move until I could no longer see it. I then tried to continue my dive but not before a high-five from Chloe after I signaled to her that that was my first site of a turtle!
Doing dives like this has given me an even bigger passion for conserving the marine environment. After only a few dives I was really ready to get stuck in to the Zoox experience programme. Learning about marine conservation, how it all came about and also it on a global scale. I also enjoyed learning about reef monitoring and about Green Fins, how to promote environmentally friendly diving…perfect!
I am learning so much, not just from Chloe and JJ who have worked so hard and accomplished so much in marine conservation but also from the other volunteers, Sam, Simon and Stef, they all have amazing experience in the marine environment that I have just become a walking sponge! I can’t wait to get working with the dive centres, local government, the amazingly friendly community and of course the Zoox team.
I have now finished my training and shadowing, I’ve really enjoyed learning the ropes. Now it’s time to put all that learning into practice.
Lets see how much we can help and learn in the next few months….GO!