With all team members present and correct, we made our way to the Carpe Diem, our magnificent research vessel.
Ours is a busy schedule, so without further ado, briefings were given and the Reef Check programme initiated, whilst we cruised to our training site at Baros to complete our first dive.
Baros, as with many islands in the Maldives, is a resort island and boasts well-kempt house reefs complete with megafauna.
Though here, unlike many of the resorts, Reef Check training is offered to their guests. Ronny and Karin, the managers of the Baros Dive Centre, uphold the ethos of Reef Check and fully understand the benefits of long-term monitoring. Sadly, this is all-too uncommon around the Maldives, a country which depends on reefs for everything from its existence to substanance to tourist income.
The team had a great first dive and for some, who hadn’t dived in a while, it was a chance to become reacquainted with the ocean – some even saw their first shark, a white tip that moved silently through the group and off into the blue.
Tomorrow the pressure is on with training lectures and dives all day, and the first test tomorrow evening! Now though, it’s been a long day, so time for a good night’s rest.