We've been through some stunning sunny days and rather ratchet rainy and windy weather but we've never stopped! Aisha and Richard talk about what they've been up to the last few weeks; read on!
"We’ve been here for two-three weeks now and we have seen the evolution of Chloe’s nurseries. We’ve helped to construct and install the nurseries and we continue to help with the monitoring phases of this coral restoration project part 1.
Learning about the corals and their ecosystem during the snorkeling trails is a big part of our volunteering program. We’ve been shown lots of coral presentations and who knew we had so many types?! Learning them was difficult for us at first because we always confused the names but with practice and help we’re memorizing them slowly. Savi takes us in the water to identify them to make it easier, and now we can recognize them by their Family, Genus, and life forms. As If there wasn’t enough to learn, we’ve been doing the same for the fish, algae and invertebrates! Now that the sun is out, the water is becoming crystal clear again which makes the learning and identification much easier (not to mention more fun). It’s been quite hot these past few days which means really interested and happy clients for snorkeling and hiking. Last week we had two groups of clients who went snorkeling at Moyenne Island. The reef there is also quite a site to see as we are reminded that Coral Reefs are the most diverse and (and in our opinion most beautiful) of all marine habitats.
We’ve also been creating a new snorkeling trail! Cement blocks made with limestone rubble found on the beaches were placed near another stretch of reef to demarcate and show guests the way to the biodiversity hotspots. Just a few more blocks and buoys to go and this trail will be open for business.
There’s more! As part of the hiking trail, we’ve been keeping it clean and trimmed so hiker enthusiasts have a clear path to follow. To help with guiding, we’ve cut and varnished some signs in animal forms out of plywood to keep the hiker updated on distance traveled. Upon request, we guide guests up the trail to the other side of Cerf as we show the different plants and animals like the cinnamon, breadfruit and coco plum trees to the mangrove crabs, geckos and herons.
And to top it all off, every morning we’ve been beach cleaning to protect animals and their environment by removing all the harmful plastics and which are sometimes ingested by the wildlife. Although we’ve never heard a thank you from the birds, turtles and fish, I’m sure they appreciate our efforts just the same.
It's Aisha's last week with us and we hope to keep it as jam packed, entertaining and most importantly educational as her work experience comes to a close. Here's what she has to say...
“How time flies by so fast, already I’m on my last week and I had the best experience ever. Everyone is so friendly and I felt really welcome not only by the CICP team but also the local people working on Cerf Island.
Now when I’m done, its back to school to continue my studies. I will surely miss everyone here and want to say a big thank you for the amazing experience; I loved it and hope to come back again soon.“
Thank you Aisha, Richard and Chloe for all your efforts!