Into the blue …

You know how sometimes a song gets stuck in your head and provides the soundtrack for your day? Well, the last couple of days my soundtracks have been ‘The Coral Song’ and the chirpy tune played by the local ice cream man. If you haven’t heard the coral song yet I suggest you check it out – as well as being incredibly catchy it’s a great educational tool. The Coral Song by KIDSTV123
This song is an appropriate soundtrack as I have chosen to participate in the Zoox Experience Programme, (ZEP) to find a way to combine my existing teaching experience with my passion for diving and marine conservation. I have learned so much from the training modules, Green Fins programme and the other trainees. There has been a huge amount of theory to cover, but it is all really interesting and delivered so well by the team of Chloe, JJ and Sam whose enthusiasm for the topics is infectious. The team of volunteers come from variety of backgrounds and have so much to share with their different skills and experience.

As well as all the theory, I have really enjoyed the practical sessions like seagrass and reef monitoring and the ‘down time’, which is where the ice cream tune comes in! Relaxing on the lawn outside the office eating ice cream with new friends has been just one of the special moments from the first two weeks here in Aninuan. It was also the perfect location for watching a movie under the stars.

Aninuan is a small village nestled between lush green mountains, and the beach. From the balcony of the office you can watch the mountains’ constantly changing shades of green with the play of sunlight, their tops shrouded in cloud. There’s also the action packed annual basketball tournament and goats and cows grazing. Aninuan Bay just a short walk away provided the perfect backdrop to our first evening together as we watched the sunset. The reefs there are a great place to practice snorkeling and Reef Watch skills. It really is the perfect location to study and relax.

As a diver, it has been fascinating to learn more about the dive industry – especially how approaches like Green Fins can ensure that we are not having a detrimental effect on the coral reefs that we love so much. I am really looking forward to being able to play a part in their conservation through supporting dive centres in Moalboal next week. I’ll also be developing a project to strengthen marine conservation education there – no doubt featuring The Coral Song!

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