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The Gap Year Blog

Project Blogs - Tenerife


Last year I quit my job to finally take the chance for traveling and volunteering as I wanted to do this since a long time. I spent years with working and not doing what I really love – to see the world, get to know foreign cultures and meet new people. I've always wanted to go to the Canary Islands and as I love animals in general the Tenerife Whale and Dolphin Conservation project seemed to be perfect for me.

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A Wholesome House Hello, dear Readers of the ‘Into the Wild’ blog page! Myself and the Frontier Whale and Dolphin Conservation team all hope that you have all had a momentous week. This is a follow-up blog to the previous one I wrote (Volcanic & Homesick’), as it’s about life at the Frontier house.

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The Frontier project House here in Tenerife is an exponentially comfortable, functional and homely home for everyone to feel safe and sane during the action-packed work weeks that we have. Alas, there is always the chance that some of our volunteers (and occasionally a staff member, too!) starts to feel the symptoms of the ‘Homesick Bug’.

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This blog is to tell you the story of how the team of the Frontier Whale and Dolphin project got a free surfing lesson (well, we had a discounted deal of paying for the equipment fee, a tiny 20€).

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It is high time that a new article is written about the beautiful cetaceans of Tenerife! The main ‘porpoise’ of Whale & Dolphin Conservation Project here in Tenerife (the largest island of the Canaries, with the highest peak of Mt. Tiede) is to discover significant knowledge of the dolphins, especially of the impact of ‘anthropomorphic’ or human disturbance on their behaviour and populations.

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I’ve come later in life to these conservation projects. I became aware of Frontier after a friend went to one of their projects in Costa Rica last summer and came back raving about his experience. As I was planning to get away from the dark Scottish winter for a couple of weeks of sunshine I checked out the Frontier website and spotted the ideal project for me – the Frontier whale and dolphin conservation project in Tenerife – and promptly signed up for two weeks in January.

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Hola! The Frontier Whale & Dolphin Conservation team in Tenerife hope that you have all been having a good week. This blog is dedicated to the wonderful and magical experiences which the terrific crew of ‘Ragnarok’ (Barco Vikingo) have been providing both the holiday-makers and of course, to us; to sail out into the Atlantic coast of off Tenerife to find the many species of beautiful dolphins.

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My first couple of weeks in the Frontier Tenerife House have been somewhat of a dream. Having studied conservation for many years, and grown up in outback Australia, I have a deep passion and love for nature ingrained in my spirit.

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Every week goes by very quickly, as there is so much happening on a daily basis. From searching the waves for cetaceans on boat surveys, climbing up cliffs to do Coastal surveys, making the many beautiful beaches safer and healthier with ‘Beach Clean-ups’ and the many creative in-house ‘Workshops’, our team of volunteers and staff always have something productive to be doing.

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My weeklong journey began with a 16-hour plane ride from California to Tenerife. Although this trek may seem preposterous to some, the experience proved worth every second. The volunteering itself consisted of multiple boat trips, cliff sightings, beach cleanups and workshops – all of which were enjoyable, including the beach cleanups (though this may be due more to my partialness for cleaning).

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