Hello to the expedition team members and other interested parties and welcome to the first diary entry for the 2013 Malaysia Reef Check expedition. My name is Paul o’Dowd and I am the expedition leader for this coming Malaysian reef conservation project. Currently I’m in Australia, at home in North Quensland, where I’m getting my stuff together for my looming departure in a week or so, about a week ahead of team 1.
I’m looking forward to getting back to Tioman Island and to meeting and working with you over the coming month. Last year, the expedition went very well and I hope this will be true for this year too.
Reef Check is a powerful method of monitoring the health of the world’s reefs. The process of learning the Reef Check methodologies opens up the world of marine science to those who want to go deeper in their relationship with the sea. So bring your curiosity and your desire to make a difference to the world (and make sure you are swatting up of Reef Check as instructed).
While we’re talking about things to bring and do, make sure your entire set of documents are in order and ready to hand to me at the briefing on the first day. These include your checklist, dive qualifications, medical information and insurance forms. Be aware that we will be spending much of our time on a boat, which is comfortable, but ultimately limited in storage space. You will be asked to bring aboard only that which is needed for that week on the sea. A limited amount of your stuff can be stored at the dive shop but it’s not a large allowance. Please make sure you pack with these limitations in mind.