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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Henry Appelton: MOVIE NIGHT!
Who does not enjoy a good nature documentary? Nobody! At least this is the case on Saturday nights at the project site of LAMAVE’s Bohol fisheries project. Every Saturday we erect our home-made screen and set up a projector to show a documentary to the local community and thank them for their kind assistance in our fieldwork. Documentary themes range from coral reefs and open oceans to forests or the Poles. We hope to inspire an appreciation of the environment and it’s an opportunity to broaden horizons by seeing far off locations and amazing species, providing an escape from typical daily life in a small fishing village.
Cherry Lee: HOW THE OCEANS, AND I, STRUGGLE WITH PLASTIC
Of all the places that I have lived the most, loved the most, the Philippines holds a special place in my heart. In a provincial seaside town in Southern Visayas, I spent 2 months as a volunteer studying whale sharks with LAMAVE.