[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]March 23, 2018

Last RATs session for 2018

Coral Reef Conservation Certification

Despite school finishing early on the last day of term, RATs were fired up and ready to head out on the water to finish the PADI AWARE Coral Reef Conservation Specialty Course started in the Dive Provo classroom a couple of weeks before.

This was our final RATs session this term and consisted of us travelling with Dive Provo to Molasses Reef to get in our last dives to finalise our Reef Conservation Program Certification.

After a briefing by our instructor, Caroline Hood, reminding us how to use the slates, the colour charts and the Quadrats (for research purposes these one metre squares are placed on the bottom, then everything inside the square is counted}, we divided into teams of three and decided what role each member of the team would take for the first dive.

We arrived at the reef after a 45 minute-long boat trip north out to sea; as soon as we arrived onto the dive site, we sprang into action. This was a two-tank dive and therefore we had to act fast to get as much data on the state of the corals as we could take down.

Once kitted up, each group, led either by Michael Hood, Caroline or Ms Rankin, jumped in and headed for the line to descend. We dove for about 40 minutes collecting coral data, which will be fed into a global data system started in Australia and it will be used to help determine the health of our coral reefs here in TCI.

We then came back up to the surface, changed tanks, ate croissants and went diving again for about another 30-40 minutes. (With Charlie and Ms Rankin even finding time for a little bit of underwater ͚running in no fins!).

Once we had all divers back on the boat, we headed back to Provo with a lot of results of the coral and some very tried divers. The journey back was wavy but under the skillful captainship of Jon Ward, it really didn’t affect our last great experience for our last RATs dive.  Thank you  Dive Provo for leading us through this – we look forward to working with you again next time!

 Oliver Downes     

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