Friday, September 5, 2008

Sarah's perspective .......

The first two weeks of life as a whale shark intern, by Sarah Colley

I’m not a marine biologist, good on boats, a scientist, or experienced with computers! So what am I doing here, you might ask? I love the sea and have enjoyed snorkelling for many years. A few years ago, I learnt to dive and with my partner have been to some wonderful places and been lucky enough to explore another facet of our planet – underwater! I saw my first Whale Shark in Belize (It was huge! I was seasick!) and was captivated. The MCSS opportunity came up whilst I was on a 7 month sabbatical from work – I was actually in Japan when I heard from David Rowat that a place as a volunteer intern was mine, if I wanted it. The chance to swim with the largest living fish, learn new skills (remember the non-science bit!), meet new people and let’s not forget the opportunity to volunteer and live in the Seychelles for 10 weeks – It wasn’t a difficult decision!

I have been asked to write a little about myself so here goes: I am 34, from the UK and have many passions in life: including food; film and travel. I work with teenagers at home so this is a far cry from my current career.

Shall I tell you about our first week? It was like an introduction to becoming a researcher, a marine biologist and a Seychellois! And we (all 7 interns- lovely people from across the world) saw our first Seychelles whale shark! Hooray!

Photo: Sarah and Carl (another intern) enter the first whale shark sighting by the team into the database.

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