My first ever week on the Island of Tenerife is coming to a close and I will be sad to go home. I chose the project as I am considering doing a Master’s degree in Marine Conservation. I read about the Christmas Special discount on the website and thought it would be a fantastic way of gaining a taster into the life of a Marine Researcher and also give me a week out of the cold miserable UK winter!
I was met by Guy, the Project Coordinator at the airport and we got a short taxi ride to the Frontier House. The house is situated in a quaint little village not far from Los Christianos, the main tourist centre of South Tenerife. The house is very comfortable and my room had an en-suite and double doors out onto the sunny patio! On the first evening there were the obligatory introductions and safety briefings then we were left to settle in. I decided to go out into the town to explore a little and get my bearings. Luckily I came across a lovely little Pizzeria which served up some of the best Pizza I’ve ever eaten!
The second day involved the training for the research data we would be collecting on the boats. We were given a really interesting presentation on Tenerife and its history, plus information on the native Flora and Fauna of the Island. Rachel, the resident Research Officer, then gave us a wonderful presentation on the whales and dolphins that we would be collecting data on to help with their on-going project. Rachel is very passionate about the Cetaceans and it was very encouraging for me as an aspiring Marine Biologist!
On my first boat trip I saw a group of Bottlenose Dolphins within 10 minutes! This was my first ever sighting of Dolphins in the wild so I was very excited. I got some great pictures of a couple of breaches and collected the relevant data for the project. Around 20 minutes later we came across a group of Pilot Whales, which was also the first time I had seen any whales in the wild, so I felt blessed to see so much after such a short time out at sea. There were sightings on every boat trip I took and it was the samefor all the other volunteers.
Going out on the boats was a fantastic experience and so was sharing a house with some lovely people from all over the world! I would definitely recommend this project. It is fantastic value for money, you learn a lot about Cetaceans and how research is helping to conserve the species. It’s also great fun so all boxes ticked!
By Katie Oxtoby - Tenerife Whale And Dolphin Conservation Volunteer
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