"It’s been over month since I’ve volunteered with CICP and its been one of the best experiences I’ve had so far! We’ve been monitoring the corals, hiking, beach cleaning and snorkelling. I’ve learned quite a lot about coral life forms and the scientific names of different corals and I’ve been able to identify some of them while snorkeling together with Margaux. I’ve also been learning about different fish, and I’ve encountered quite a few that I’ve been able to identify them very easily.
Just last week, we came across a Hawksbill turtle which was resting on the corals while having a little snack. We took loads of pictures of it so we could then come back to the office and observe the picture of the turtle by looking at its different scute (scales on the face) patterns and identify it through the use of Interactive Individual Identification System (I3S). This program allows us to identify each encountered turtle and allow for a turtle adoption program as we track their moves and behaviours around our reefs.
I also came across a baby eagle ray which was swimming past me very fast but I managed to get a good look at it and it was very beautiful. I’ve also seen three feather tailed rays which camouflaged very well as they were about the same colour as the sand but as we got closer they got up and left as we snapped a few pictures of it.
That week we also had clients who were very interested in the sea and really enjoyed and appreciated our company while snorkelling as we showed them some of our beautiful corals such as Pocilliopora, Platygyra, Acropora and much more. After the snorkel the clients came to thank us and started sharing stories about their underwater experiences which was very interesting to hear as I always love talking about the ocean and sharing my love for it with other people; it’s a great satisfaction to know that other people share the same love for it as I do.
I’ve also come across quite a few other animals such as squid, barracuda, which didn’t look very friendly, and even a lion fish which was very beautiful, but of course I couldn’t go very close to it. On some days the weather here on Cerf wasn’t very good, but we don’t let that stop us! Just the other day we were able to finish the hike together with clients who were really determined and quite satisfied by the mesmerising view at the viewpoint staring at the beautiful islands such as Moyenne and Sainte Anne and the clients really enjoyed it! I am very eager to keep coming to Cerf and to learn so much more about the corals and fish!"