My expedition with Blue Ventures was an informative and incredibly enjoyable experience. There was a good balance between learning and lectures (which covered everything from the various aspects of the work of the charity to lectures on bio-luminescence before our night dive), diving and rest and relaxation time.
I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the model of the charity, for example for most roles locals are trained rather than Westerners brought in from outside of the community, as well as aspects of local and global marine conservation. Blue Ventures provide the data we collect to a locally managed marine area council and it is the locals who use the data to make decisions on how to sustainably manage their reef. This made me feel like the work we completed was a direct contribution to the sustainable management of the local coral reef.
I was part of an international group of 11 volunteers, we formed close friendships over the course of the expedition and had some great times, whether star gazing, diving or dancing. The trip to the seaweed and sea cucumber farm was a highlight for me, I could see how practical approaches to aqua culture would enable many families to earn an improved living while also ensuring the health of the reef in the future.
Truly one of the highlights of my life, I would highly recommend a Blue Ventures expedition to anyone interested in marine conservation.