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News item submitted by Gap Year Blog
News item dated 17 May 2017

My favourite aspect about coming out here has been learning how to scuba dive. I stayed out here for two weeks and managed to gain certification of both the padi open water and advanced open water courses in a total of 5 days through effort and hard work both practically and academically. I decided to do these courses as I want to go into the stunt industry and have dreamed to ever since a very young age, so this I felt would contribute towards the training for that. Also it’s highly relevant to marine biology which is the course I want to carry out at university. Again the people at Frenchies diving centre were friendly and easy to talk to. They were very helpful and patient and gave constructive criticism to me if I did something incorrectly. They gave me a massive amount of advice and tactics if I was to go diving by myself which was unforgettable and from this I now feel confident to dive by myself.

The views and site seeing on the south side of the island and especially in the north island where the camp is situated are once in a lifetime experience. There is nothing covering the horizon apart from clear blue skies and waters. It’s also covered with palm trees and mangrove trees. It looks like a typical Caribbean paradise.

The vast species of fish and coral I have seen will stay with me for a lifetime. Particularly on my advanced open water course which took place in San Pedro. I saw a green turtle which was nearly the size of me, two Moray eels, and a vast number of nurse sharks. Furthermore lobsters, snappers, damsel fish, butterfly fish, parrot fish, grunts and more, You name it, it’ll be here due to the large extensive coral reefs and beautiful clear waters.

I’ve also very much enjoyed the projects we have completed which were sea grass surveying, fish + coral surveys which we did whilst scuba diving recreationally, and comparing the proportion of algae, sponges, and diversity of fish one on side of the island having low levels of human activity and the other side having large levels of human activity. The guys I volunteered for taught us along the way species of coral and fish and interesting facts about the island and the plants and animals within it. I managed to get the hang of it further throughout the project with increasingly more practice and revision.

By Gregory Round - Belize Marine Volunteer

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