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  • Joanne Stubbs

What Marine Research?

Enough of Camp and enough of Nosy Komba. After 2 weeks there I have managed to do 2 dives. The first was to test my diving skills which because of the camp having too many people there and not enough gear we had to do this as the tide was going out in 9ft of water. This meant the minute I took of my weight belt that my feet shot to the surface while I was left upside down holding the belt with the weights on the sand. So much for having to decompress on the way up. The next day my dive was a Fish Identification dive and the first time I have seen the reef offshore of camp. What a crock! The coral is average, the drop off is about 10 feet and the fish are all tiny due to over fishing. Nothing much to research here. In fact the instructors were overheard to say that this is the first research day they had had in over 6 months and for some it was the the first ever. When asked where the research was going no-one could actually tell me. So, I decided to finish my Advanced Open Water dive course which involved 4 more dives (Fish Identification already over and done with). Normally this could be done in 2 days with any normal diving outfit and you get to choose between 3 electives and 2 mandatory dives. The Fish Identification dive was an elective and one I normally wouldn't choose because I have a fair idea of most tropical fish, but it is required for the research so no biggie. The mandatory dives are Navigation and Deep Water and then they choose the other 2 electives for you which are Advanced Buoyancy and Drift Diving. I would prefer to do Digital Underwater Imaging as one of the electives, but this is not an option so beggars can't choosers. So, one assessment dive under my belt and then two days of walking back and forth to camp with no diving because the wind was too bad. No one would actually let me know not to arrive so both days were spent doing a 30 minute turtle watch from the deck. The rest of the day - bored shitless. So at this stage I decided to run my own research project. With the music that I had available on my phone I noticed that when I played Foo Fighters I spotted 7 turtles in a space of a few minutes, but then they all disappeared when I played Queen. My hypothesis then narrowed to help prove that it is not specific musical genres that turtles like, but specific bands. A major scientific break through!!!

The highlight of the day for all is to sit on a rock near sunset and drink a beer (only one per person and paid for separately). At least the funds raised go to the village basketball team (supposedly).

Subsequently, enough is enough. I am not longer wasting my time with this research farse and I will move back to Nosy Be and do some touristy things before coming home via Mauritius 10 days early. Good luck getting a refund from this shonky mob.



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