VOLUNTEER BLOG

VOLUNTEER BLOG

Living and loving the simple life

I’ve learned to love this basic life we have on Apo Island. Waking up to dog barks and rooster calls at 6am and just sitting by the balcony enjoying the morning view with my cup of coffee and bread. Watching the team rushing to change into their research outfit and heading out for the first morning session at 7am. It’s always a joy to watch and identify the turtles in the water. Observing their cute actions and the interactions between them and occasionally getting annoyed at skittish turtles that just wouldn’t show us their left side.

VOLUNTEER BLOG

VOLUNTEER BLOG

Diving into science - Lene From Christensen

It’s close to 6 o’clock in the morning. The sun rose just as we left the diveshop. The captain shouts “50 meters”. I better get ready, weights, mask, fins, air is open, okay I am good to go. I look at my buddy “ok”. The captain shouts “10 meters”. I look at my buddy: “ready? 3-2-1 go!” Backroll into the fresh, chilled water. Orientate “ahh no current, it’s gonna be a good day”. Get the gear from the boat crew and descend. Immediately, my buddy and I spot the well-known and recognizable shape of the Remote Underwater Video (RUV) at the bottom, let’s get to work.

VOLUNTEER BLOG

VOLUNTEER BLOG

Salamat Apo

Another day on the island. 5:30 am and the sun is already peeping through the palms and colouring the sky with the softest tones. The water is looking serene and undisturbed, it is holding in its transparency all the secrets of the amazing reef we are lucky to call a survey area. We prepare and leave home walking among the same familiar smiles that give us their ‘maayong buntag’ (good morning) when we pass by.

VOLUNTEER BLOG

VOLUNTEER BLOG

Kalena Walker: A Biologist's Elegy

After three months flicking through slide after slide of the same three hundred or so whale sharks, you wonder about the delicate dictation of genes that shape the subtle nuances between phenotypes. Some of their patterns are remarkably similar, different in only the breadth of a stripe here or the completeness of a circle there. Others are perhaps distorted reflections of another. One has its own easily discerned pattern but on closer inspection: the same taper to a V above the pectoral fin, or a familiar swirl adjacent to the posterior-most operculum.

VOLUNTEER BLOG

VOLUNTEER BLOG

Mauro van Wanrooij: From the pitch to the ocean

At the age of 18, I was attending my final year of pre-university education at my local school in the Netherlands. I was studying really, really hard (:p) and I was playing soccer at a pretty high level, something I loved to do. During my school time, I met some of my best friends. Since they played soccer as well, but at a rival club in the same town I am from, we came up with the idea to play together. That was the moment I made a transfer to the club my friends were playing at. After several test games with the A-team, I made it through the selection. But then in the early season the worst thing I could imagine happened - I tore off possibly all the ligaments in my right-knee and at the same time, I had to do my finals.

VOLUNTEER BLOG

VOLUNTEER BLOG

SASKIA SCHMOLE: OCEAN LOVE

When you are a volunteer with LAMAVE, you spent a lot of time in the ocean. I choose to spend most of my free time with things that have to do with the ocean as well. During my in-water sessions, I could not help but pay attention to everything that swims and moves under water.

VOLUNTEER BLOG

VOLUNTEER BLOG

Connie Flora Champman: Missing; the world’s biggest fish

Today’s forecast; clear, sunny skies and a top temperature of 32°C – another glorious day. Whizzing down the coastal road, the breeze providing relief from the already sweltering morning sun, the smell of sea salt wafts through the jeepney. The excitement of soon submerging into the world below the surface builds. Once off the jeepney, each step brings you closer to cooling off with the giants of the deep, in today’s crystal clear blue sea.

MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLAR

MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLAR

MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLARS - INTRODUCING BRYAN MADERA

Meet our scholars! Each LAMAVE research project has at least one Filipino Scholar who is sponsored to join our team. These are our amazing LAMAVE Scholars!  Next up is Bryan Madera who recently joined our whale shark research team in Northern Mindanao. Here’s what the inspiring conservationist had to share with us…

MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLAR

MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLAR

MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLARS - CHRISTINE (TIN) MAE V. ALAGON

Meet our scholars! Each LAMAVE research project has at least one Filipino Scholar who is sponsored to join our team. These are our amazing LAMAVE Scholars! Our latest scholar post is from Christine "Tin" Mae V. Alagon who was part of our whale shark research team in Northern Mindanao earlier this year. Here’s what the Filipina conservationist had to share with us…

MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLAR

MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLAR

MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLARS - JESAH BALDESANSO

Meet our scholars! Each LAMAVE research project has at least one Filipino Scholar who is sponsored to join our team. These are our amazing LAMAVE Scholars! Our latest scholar is Jesah Baldesanso who was part of our whale shark research team in Northern Mindanao earlier this year. Here’s what the Filipina conservationist had to share with us…

MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLAR

MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLAR

MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLARS - KATHY MAUYAO

Meet our scholars! Each LAMAVE research project has at least one Filipino Scholar who is sponsored to join our team. These are our amazing LAMAVE Scholars! First up is Kathy Mauyao who is currently working with our whale shark research team in Southern Leyte. Here’s what the Filipina conservationist had to share with us…

VOLUNTEER BLOG

VOLUNTEER BLOG

Nick Gray: AS A VOLUNTEER THERE IS MUCH WORK TO BE DONE, BUT THERE IS ALSO TIME TO SLACK.

Living “on project”, a day in the life of a LAMAVE volunteer is usually quite busy as there is always work to be done of some sort.  Sometimes it’s easy to focus solely on the task at hand and not get out to enjoy what the rest of the island of Cebu has to offer.  I find it’s extremely important to unwind and balance the work life with some personal time.

MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLAR

MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLAR

MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLARS - TG BONJUANA CAÑAL

Meet our scholars! Each LAMAVE research project has at least one Filipino Scholar who is sponsored to join our team. These are our amazing LAMAVE Scholars! Our latest scholar is TG Bonjuana Cañal who has just finished her placement with our whale shark research team in Northern Mindanao. Here’s what the Filipina conservationist had to share with us…

VOLUNTEER BLOG

VOLUNTEER BLOG

 

Nicky Allan: TURTLE LADY

Although the BRUVS project is centered around elasmobranch research, we were all given side projects to work on individually. I was lucky enough to become the ‘Turtle Lady’, tasked with creating an ID catalogue of all the turtles around Apo Reef island and Pandan island, close to Sablayan. Pandan island is home to a well-known resort as well as many enormous resident green turtles. It has been the site of many relaxing days off from the project – a place to snorkel, dive, play pool and eat bruschetta. On each visit you can find yourself snorkeling with as many as 5 turtles at once, as well as multiple Blue Spotted stingrays and Blue Spotted Ribbontail rays. From 5 visits to Pandan, I have managed to identify 20 individual green turtles, and one hawksbill turtle.

MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLAR

MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLAR

MEET THE LAMAVE SCHOLARS - INTRODUCING JALICA DEALCA

Meet our scholars! Each LAMAVE research project has at least one Filipino Scholar who is sponsored to join our team. These are our amazing LAMAVE Scholars! This time we hear from Jalica Dealca who is currently working with our whale shark research team in Donsol. Here’s what the Filipina conservationist had to share with us…

VOLUNTEER BLOG

VOLUNTEER BLOG

Lou Huskin: LIVING IN A LAND OF COCONUTS, RAINBOWS AND UNICORN GLITTER

WANTED: Volunteers to live and work in the Philippines, studying sharks on a remote tropical island and generally living in a land of coconuts, rainbows, and unicorn glitter
Erm… where do I sign?

VOLUNTEER BLOG

VOLUNTEER BLOG

Mariana Hill: SMILE!

Walking in the street by my home in Mexico I can be as lonely as in a misty forest. Things are different here in the Philippines; everyone says ‘hello’ or calls my name. When I first arrived in Donsol local people commented that I never smiled, that I was lulong (crazy). But I am shy! It’s not so easy for me to talk with people. However, I’ve never seen a group of guys trying so hard to make you feel happy. In Donsol people joke all the time and laughing is the rule. After I understood that there was no reason to be afraid, I found a place where every day is exciting, where I enjoy every day as if it was the last one.

VOLUNTEER BLOG

VOLUNTEER BLOG

Charlie Staniforth - Endsor: CROSSING THE SULU SEA TO THE ISLAND OF "YOU WILL ENJOY"

The next stage of the BRUV project for the LAMAVE team was to survey a small group of islands in the center of the Sulu Sea under the Cagayancillo municipality. The islands consist of Cagayancillo, where we are based and the largest of the three, Calusa and Cawilli.

VOLUNTEER BLOG

VOLUNTEER BLOG

Jenny Hardy: DUCK-DIVING WITH GIANTS

It’s an overcast and breezy, yet warm, morning. I’m standing on the sea’s edge, looking out across the water imagining and anticipating what’s to come - I’ll be swimming with whale sharks for the first time today. This amazing revelation doesn’t quite hit through – my alarm woke me at 6:30 in the morning, after which I staggered around the house looking for breakfast before being gently herded into town, bundled onto a jeepney (public bus) and deposited on site, all in a state far from wakefulness.

VOLUNTEER BLOG

VOLUNTEER BLOG

FABIEN VIVIER, GIVES YOU THE BREAK DOWN ON LAMAVES WHALE SHARK PROJECT IN SOUTHERN LEYTE.

Ever wondered what the daily life of a researcher/volunteer is? Let me briefly explain to you how our days are conducted.