Location: South Male Atoll
Today I had the pleasure and unusual responsibility to be the skipper of the day. After thinking long and hard about the perfect wake-up song, I settled on “in the jungle, the mighty jungle’ from the Lion King. After all, who’s not happy after hearing that song! After breakfast and clean-up, everyone separated into their respective groups for the morning. Max, Madz, Emily, Henry, and Bee completed the final skill on their open water course with Smudge. They are all now certified, open water divers. Over the next few days, the other students hope to also finish their final skills. When I asked Henry how he felt, he said he was very proud and excited to complete the certificate and looked forward to many more dives.
At the same time, half of the certified divers (Robbie, Fin, and Ian) completed a skill dive with Amy. They had to complete an underwater assault-like course and said it was really fun. They even had an underwater running race on the bottom of the sea, and Amy won, much to the disappointment of all the guys. For their second dive of the day, Danar and Zac joined them to do an underwater naturalist dive, which focuses on the marine life around the coral. Several crabs and garden eels were spotted hiding under rocks and in the sand.
The crew is working on several different research project for Oceanography. One group was studying the coral in the Maldives and surveyed a number of areas to see if there is bleaching happening or Damage from tourism. Another is comparing the levels of plankton in the different Atolls, so one needs to take numerous water samples and examine them under a microscope. Another group that is keeping a keen eye on water samples hypothesizes that increased levels of oxygenated water containing nitrates and phosphates. They believe these levels will increase as we approach more densely populated areas. The bio-fouling group has been examining the hull in several areas and depths to see what is growing on the underside of the boat. Lastly, the pollution Group has been recording sightings of waste they see or find, identify it if possible, and record its location. Like the others, they hypothesize this will increase when nearer densely populated areas or after big storms.
In the evening, the crew had a leadership class where they discussed the importance of mindfulness in leadership. The class was lead by Gillian and Danar, who choose the discussion points and chaired the class. Tomorrow will be our last day in Male before provisioning and heading off on passage to the Seychelles. The excitement is brewing already.
1. So much help in the galley today
2. Tom and the gang on passage to Male
3. Sam and Val suited up to tackle grime
4. The deckies getting pumped for clean up
5. Dinner clean up in the salty pit