While we have many different programs we aim to keep a certain routine in our daily life (with many things changing all the time it is nice to have some regularities)
We aim to wake up at 07:30 (Obviously if somebody was taking a night watch on anchor in a windy night he/she gets to sleep in the next day)
We start to operate at 0800. Depending on the daily program this could be getting ready for a workshop with a Dive Center, setting sail to move or getting ready for some hands on research operations on anchor.
1.) While underway:
When sailing we aim to incorporate additional research efforts into our transit times. So while 2 persons are steering in shifts (Generally Manuel is one of them since he is the registered skipper with the boat and whoever has a. License can officially take over at times to allow for some rest) the rest of the crew can handle additional tasks: Whenever Cetacean/Marine Mammal observations are happening 3 people would be out on deck keeping an eye on the surface for any movement of dolphins, whales, seals, turtles etc. - in the past we had encounters every other day on average but. Also had single days with several turtles in one go!
2.) While running Workshops:
When running Workshops with Dive Centers we aim to adjust to their schedules as much as possible. The general idea however is that we join the center for one day for each one of the three workshops (Invasive Species/Posidonia/Invasive Species) and while the guides are taking care of the diving side of things our team (all volunteers should get a chance to run at least one workshop under supervision) will take care of the scientific briefing, work under water/research efforts, seagrass shoot counting, observation of invasive species etc and of course an in depth debriefing afterwards.
Ones the dive guests are gone we will have another lecture with the staff of the dive center to get them ready to run the next set of workshops themselves, since we will only be able to come by each center ones a year. More information on the dive Center Workshops can be found here
3.) Project Manaia Research efforts
When not with a dive center and not underway we always have some wiggle room for extra research efforts and training options for people on board. While days in between workshops are generally planned for transmitting we planned the route in a way that we should only have to move half a day and have the other half on anchor available to get things done.
- We can run video transects with the ROV and train you to do so as well!
- snorkelling excursions in the close surroundings (either swimming or by dinghy) Many areas have great caves for snorkelling, which are amazing hiding spots for invasive species and generally show amazing overgrowth to inspect.
- Seagrass mapping with the Drone is another option whenever we find somewhat lonely beaches (tourists as well as locals are not usually big friends of drones buzzing above their heads while swimming). This does involve a trip to shore since landing the drone on the boat is always a bit nerve wrecking
- Leasure time! Since we often will be working through weekends we do take the luxury of taking 2 half days a week off - while not everyone can always do this at the same time it is nice to have some off time together and just relax - lie in the sun, take the underwater scooter for a ride, go paddle boarding or for a simple swim to the closest beach. Plenty of options available on board and around so the danger of getting bored is not really present!