Thursday
May222014

Fish jokes... can you do better?

A Moray Eel type of conversation……

- Bula Ray!
- How do you know his name's Ray?
- Bula Steve!
- Who's Steve??

Why is it so easy to weigh a fish?
Because they have their own scales!

Which fish is the most famous?
The star fish!

What do an angel fish and a damsel fish have in common?
They are both fish!

Find out more about the Fiji Marine Conservation & Diving project.

Wednesday
May212014

ARO Blog: Nikola Piesinger

Bula everyone!

It's been an eventful week here on Beqa, but don't worry I'll get you up to speed on everything that you've missed.

On the diving front, Dan is now officially survey ready and has set a record time of flying through all of his scientific training having nailed the indicator and family tests first time around. Congratulations Dan!

Lizzie, Matt and Angie have now officially completed their Advanced Open Water courses and are now going to be concentrating more on their scientific training. Matt and Angie had their first ever spot tests with Blue and I yesterday – we’re looking forward to some more of those!

This weekend the weather wasn't exactly working in our favour. We had a few hours per day of torrential rain and barely any sun. Due to this, we didn't have a lot of electricity so our volunteers didn't get the opportunity to charge their phones. Don't worry parents and family! Everyone is alive and well and the sun is finally out again (hooray!).

On top of the bad weather, one of our very first pets KJ the pig (Kris' namesake) passed away. It was an upsetting ordeal, but we mourned his passing respectfully and ate him for dinner. We'll miss you KJ. You were the best pig ever.

I think the passing of KJ must have triggered something in the animals. Snow White our cat has been pregnant for quite a while, and finally decided to give birth yesterday! We welcomed 3 new kittens - Olaf, Gimley, and Skittles (I named Skittles) into the family. Snow and her kittens are now on their way to Mala's father's house in Rukua.

The dogs have been rather involved in this ordeal too. We got a new puppy from the village, his name is Cobra and he's a lovely boy. AND, we woke up to the news that Xena (the warrior princess dog!) gave birth to a whopping 8 puppies last night.

Unfortunately, we had to say good-bye to some of our volunteers this past week. Chris and Rachel, it's awfully quiet without you here on base, and we miss you already. Chris was with us for 6 weeks, he was originally supposed to only be here for 4 weeks but thankfully he decided to come to his senses and extend. Jimmy misses you! Rachel was with us for a short but lovely 3 weeks and has contributed to the Beach Conservation project significantly, being the very first person to survey our site called Pride Rock! We love you, and I hope both of you have an amazing time in Australia!

Well, that's about it from me!

Don't forget to stay classy.

By Nikola Piesinger, Marine Assistant Research Officer

Find out more about the Fiji Marine Conservation & Diving project.

Wednesday
May212014

Volunteer blog: Chris George

It has been a pretty eventful week so far with all four of the new volunteers settling in extremely quickly with the rest of us on camp. Both Lizzie and Matt have completed their open water courses and at this moment in time are close to completing the advanced course. Angie has finished her advanced course and is now doing spot tests.


Unfortunately it as been an upsetting end of the week for myself due to my departure on Monday 19th! It has however been an amazing experience and I would recommend this project to anyone interested in the marine biology and environmental aspect of the geography industry.

The past few days the weather hasn’t been so favourable to us here on Beqa with torrential rain. But this gave us a chance to unveil everyone’s competitive side with various games such as UNO and Monopoly! As well as the weather another unfortunate event unfolded with one of our pet pigs KJ sadly passing away. But in light of this, we respectfully mourned him by cooking and feasting on his delicious remains.

A final thank you also has to be passed onto all the staff here who have put up with me and made this experience one to remember especially our instructor Clare, and a congratulations to newly qualified instructor Kris who now has his hands full with our new divers Angie, Lizzie and Matt. I WILL MISS EVERYONE.

By Chris George, Marine volunteer

Find out more about the Fiji Marine Conservation & Diving project.

Thursday
May082014

Adventurer blog: Rachel Fenner

I have settled in well during my first week on Beqa, although I would like some more sunshine. This week I have had various lectures on coral and fish identification. I've spent time learning the names of many different fish and have been out snorkelling seeing the fish up close.

In my spare time that I have had I've spent it getting to know my fellow camp mates and the various animals that we have here. I'm enjoying cooking for myself and the others, with all the old volunteers showing me everything I need.

This weekend the other volunteers took a trip to Suva so myself and another volunteer made the most of the quiet weekend and the sun. The table that has been under construction for the past month has made a big improvement with now all the pieces of wood having been cut.

We are welcoming 5 new volunteers to camp tomorrow and I'm looking forward to meeting and getting to know them.

By Rachel Fenner, Adventurer volunteer

Find out more about the Fiji Marine Conservation & Diving project.

Tuesday
Apr292014

ARO Blog: Blue Raasch

Yandra (G’morning) friends and family!

Assistant Research Officer, Blue, here again to fill you in on the past week’s events.  This week was very productive.  We had three of our lovely volunteer’s Jess, Caitlin and Chris, complete their PADI Advanced Open Water certifications – Well done! I am well on my way into settling into the Beqa Island family and am happy to say that I have completed all of my training lectures and am now doing in water training. The volunteers have been making lots of progress on their science training and have passed both their Fish Indicator and Fish Family tests.  It won’t be long until they are out collecting research data! 

On Thursday we went to my new favourite site, named “Vuvalae”, meaning family in Fijian, where we had the pleasure of watching a pod of dolphins swim in the waves by our boat! It was an incredible experience and left all of us cheering and smiling.  The site itself is lovely.  It starts off with a big coral bommie where the boat is moored and leads into many small reef patches surrounding it.  On our way down, myself and Niki, our other ARO, saw a White Tipped Reef Shark! Our first shark sighting since I’ve been here.  My underwater screaming through my regulator was luckily enough noise to get the attention of my dive buddies during our dive when the White Tip Reef Shark came around a second time! All in all it was a magnificent day and some incredible diving. 

This past weekend we had to say farewell to one of our long-term volunteers Lina. Moce (Goodbye) Lina, you will be missed.  Lina completed two fish surveys before her departure and contributed to our research and marine conservation efforts.  We’ve also had two new additions to our small island family, Rachael and Maureen. Welcome ladies! 

Until next week, Moce

Blue.

Find out more about the Fiji Marine Conservation & Diving project.