As we progress into the fourth week of this expedition, all volunteers are well and truly settled in. The temperature is absolutely gorgeous and a steady 32 degrees. Today the water temperature was 29 degrees, with superb underwater visibility. Part of the research we are undertaking here is to catalogue species diversity and abundance of fish, corals, and invertebrates. On a personal level, this has added an extra dimension to recreational diving – it has been very rewarding to be able to identify the species we see underwater (as well as boast about the things we see). On a scientific dive today, searching for sea cucumbers, we happened to catch site of a mighty bar jack a good 5 feet long (things underwater appear larger than they really are. Especially when relaying the size of the fish you saw to your friends afterwards).
I have also developed a slight fixation with the food, in particular, bokbok, a doughnut-like, deep-fried dessert. Much to my satisfaction, I have also found that the local village sells them, where it costs about 50p for 20 of them. If my habit continues, I think I am in danger of running out of money (they are very easy to eat). Food for our meals has been very good with lots of grilled fish and rice. Soon we get a chance to cook a meal, and surprise the local staff here with some English delicacies- Christmas pudding is a strong contender!
Raj Roy (volunteer)