project review

Leaving Manta camp is sad

Review submitted by Samantha Holder
Review date 25 Jun 2010

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The end of the 10 weeks!  And everyone is really sad to be leaving camp and each others company.  We’ve had an awesome time throughout the phase, but the last couple of weeks has been quite eventful.  Everyone has got really involved with the research and the science.  Half of us have been doing BSPs – surveying either fish, algae & inverts, or coral.  The other half have been doing reef-check, studying the health of the reefs we’ve been visiting, by analysing the indicator species found in each area.  We’ve been to a mixture of sites, some that have been damaged, and others full of fish, colours, and exciting things to see!

Everyone has loved all the diving, both the research and fun dives, gaining valuable experience and great memories.  The highlight of probably everyone’s trip has been seeing the dolphins.  The bottlenose dolphins that we saw twice over three days loved riding the bow of the boat, giving us such a clear view of their power, beauty, and playful nature.  Some of us were lucky enough to be in the water when the inquisitive dolphins swam past.  We also spotted humpback dolphins swimming past camp.  It was amazing for us all to be able to see the shy species on top of all the excitement already!

Saturday just gone was our last visit to Antskala.  We had a fantastic lesson.  Both us and the children left covered in facepaint and with massive smiles, but not before a song and dance to say goodbye.  All in all everyone has had a fantastic time.  Camp has become our home, and we’ve all become like family.  This wouldn’t have been possible without the fantastic staff, who have not only taught and inspired us, but been fun and amazing friends as well. 

Saturday night was our final party night, and definitely the best fancy dress so far.  Every week the party, games, and costumes got better and better.  The photos and stories will be hard to match.

Leaving Manta Camp will be sad for us all, and there are too many things to list that we’ll miss about life out here.  All I can say is that I have friends and memories that will last forever.

Read more about the Madagascar Marine Conservation & Diving Project