Frontier Tenerife Whale and Dolphin Project
Upon my arrival at the volunteer house in Tenerife I was welcomed in straight away by my fellow volunteers and Xiana,my project co-ordinator. Many of the volunteers had been there for a few weeks before. I was the first male on the project and couldn't wait to get started.
My first day consisted of household tasks such as preparing the house, cooking duties and the project briefing. To learn the different species and what I would be observing furthered my excitement even more. Although the project was new,it had already had a very good amount of planning and preparation behind it from the volunteer co-ordinator and Tracey who was a volunteer but was now working as a project assistant to Xiana.
Upon looking at the rota I was very excited to see that I was on four different boat trips throughout the week observing dolphins and pilot whales. The previous year I had undertaken another project with Frontier with the olive ridley sea turtles in Mexico,so my knowledge and CV was being filled with valuable field experience which will help my career into marine biology.
Everyday on the boats was amazing! To have the open ocean in front of you, the sea breeze, amazing crew, fellow volunteers and of course the pilot whales, made me realise that this is living of the highest order. Upon returning to the house,I had to input my data and recording any photographs we had taken. This allowed us to track the different pods, recording individual pod members and hopefully stand for higher conservation methods in the future for these majestic animals of the ocean.
Even though I was only on project for a week I was amazed at how quickly everyone worked together, respected each other's cultures and backgrounds and most importantly shared a passion for marine cetaceans. I have made some lifelong friends and even though we will probably never all be together again, I believe that the best photo graphs are the ones that we create in our memories. I certainly have a bucket load of which I'll never forget.
With smiles and thanks