By Georgie Beresford
About a month ago I moved office. I didn’t move far, but it was very exciting all the same. I migrated from the Marine Educator picnic table at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles to the Coral Cabana (a grand total of five steps away) to start my new role as Reef Restoration Project Officer!
I had a fantastic time as a Marine Educator here and I can’t quite believe it, but I’ve now been in Seychelles for 6 months! I’ve loved every day of it, even the rainy ones. In fact they are sometimes my favourites, when the air cools down and you get the lovely experience of snorkelling over a reef in warm rain… bliss. It has certainly been an eventful 6 months. We’ve faced extreme weather; torrential rain, impressive waves and even algae blooms hitting Seychelles. Mixed with cloudless weeks when the bay is as flat as a mill pond and we have to pinch ourselves to believe this is really where we get to work. We’ve seen strong winds of the North West monsoon season bringing with it tiny hawksbill turtle hatchlings washed ashore amongst the sargassum seaweed they like to shelter amongst. And have had many adventures rescuing them; keeping them safe in the coral cabana before releasing them back into the sea with the help of our lovely guests. We’ve seen some staff changes at the beach with Charlotte and Tania moving on to new adventures in Europe and a new Marine Educator team arriving in the past couple of months, who are just as fun and creative as our old crew.
I’ve learnt a lot and now am very excited starting this new role. Over the last few months I had the great opportunity of helping Tania when she was running the reef restoration project, giving me a useful insight and experience of the project before taking over this role. And of course I’m joined by our Project Assistant Annie, who is now a seasoned coral saver. I was also lucky enough to work previously work on a reef restoration project in Indonesia as well as studying restoration science during my MSc. So I hope I can bring this experience, some new ideas and a lot of reef love to this already fantastic reef restoration project and keep it developing and expanding in the coming months. There will be challenges; we are facing El Nino induced bleaching events across Seychelles in the coming months. But also many exciting new developments; with our coral sponsorship program on the way and lots of big healthy fragments in the nursery now ready to be transplanted back onto the reef. Very exciting times…so watch this space for more news coming soon.