We’ve had a little surprise this month; a work attachment extension has given us an Aisha for a whole extra month! Here's a little about what we've been up to...
So far Aishah and Richard have continued to gain knowledge about the hard corals found in the Seychelles. They’ve even come up with their own nicknames for some of them to make identification easier such as lettuce coral for the Coscinarea and the zombie coral for Blastomussa; it takes a bit of imagination but whatever helps them out! It took a little bit of time but they’ve even managed to pick a couple of favorites. Richard’s being the Pocillopora damicornis as it comes in many different colours and looks cute. Aishah’s favourite is Galaxea fasicularis because it’s fun and colourful. Now that we’ve got a handle on the corals it’s time to learn about the coral predators! Drupella snails, cushion sea stars and crown of thorns, Oh My! They've learned about the biology of the voracious coral predating crown of thorns and why they are detrimental to a reef system in large numbers. Did you know they eat their body size in coral every day and grow 10cm a year?!
With the sun and calmer seas, CICP has had a greater amount of guests for guided snorkeling/hiking. In the last month alone, 65 guests have joined for guided snorkeling and 21 for hiking! We’ve been in the process of revamping the trails for a while now and have installed new buoys and signs for all the trails. Painted and designed by Aishah and Richard, we now have marine themed buoys for the snorkel trail and terrestrial critter signs for the hiking trail. While they were installing some of the buoys, they came across the mother of all feather tail rays (2-3m big, 2 sharks (a white tip and a lemon shark) and a beautiful common reef octopus.
They’ve also revamped the drift drogue design because the last time didn’t give us the results we were looking for; now with a plastic bottle rim, the drift drogues can stay open and catch the current so that we may continue studying the current patterns around Cerf Island. CICP also wishes to start implementing reef surveys! These surveys will involve permanent transects start and end points so that studies about the recruitment, bleaching, coral density, and fish biomass can be carried out.
Don’t forget the beach cleans they have been doing every morning! Some mornings are cleaner than others with the calming winds.
After a long few weeks, Richard and Chloe joined Savi on a Friday night dive with the Underwater Centre in Beau Vallon. A bit of a special occasion, the dive was held in BaieTernay! Morays, pencil urchins, lobsters, lionfish, stone fish, and more were all there to celebrate. What an amazing experience even if Richard was the first to chug through his air.
Thanks for reading and following our adventures!