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Kirsty in the Park
Meet Kirsty Stenhouse, one of the latest DiveBunnies to create a diary of her dive experiences. Kirsty has joined a short project with the Ras Mohammed National Park here in Sharm el Sheikh, run by Dr Rupert Ormond, where a group of volunteers from various British universities perform fish and coral surveys on the reefs in the area. During this project, they learn the fundamentals of reef conservation, and observation as well as the survey techniques used to assess the general health of the reefs. They also perform important surveys around the area to see how the reefs are being affected over a period of time. She has been keeping a daily diary of her work for us here:
So after a week of fun diving and acclimatising to the Sharm-el- Sheikh lifestyle, it was time for the actual work to begin! The morning kicked off with an introductory lecture by Dr Rupert Ormond, who is running the course, and a health and safety briefing.
After lunch we headed to the Hilton Waterfalls reef for our first amateur attempt at fish identification. Rupert passed out a double-sided laminated sheet with all different families of fish we would see in this area and then let us loose on the reef to find them. I managed to spot most of the fish families on my card, and even managed to see the resident Napolean Wrasse. After diving, it was a bit of a shock to the system to be snorkelling, and I'm sure I swallowed a fair bit of seawater! I'm sure I'll get used to it as the course progresses.
After drying out it was back to the centre for dinner and then the evening lecture on Coral and Reef Ecology. What Rupert doesn't know about corals would probably fit on a post-it, so there was a lot of information to take in, I was more than ready for bed when it finished at 9pm. Tomorrow we are heading into Ras Mohammed from the shore, another first for me, to hone our new-found fish skills!
On to Day Two
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