My time with WiseOceans has come to an end, however I know this will not be the last I see or hear of them. When I think back to me joining the company and compare it to where they are now it is really unbelievable how much we have achieved and grown – the company has more than doubled in size, a Reef Restoration Project in Seychelles is well underway, we opened a Marine Discovery Programme in a whole new country, have provided marine education lessons with hundreds of schools across the globe through our Dive into the Classroom programme, created an incredible marine conservation weekly job alert email for all those marine lovers looking for the perfect job (phew!) and so much more! I am incredibly proud to have been part of the team and wish them every success for the future.
As a Marine Educator, WiseOceans has equipped me with many new skills and developed those I already had far beyond what I expected. I can confidently identify Indian Ocean coral, invertebrate and fish species and apply this to underwater scientific surveys as well as use my new knowledge of them in presentations. My guest engagement skills now match the luxury standards of a five star resort and my written communication is of an equally high standard. With opportunities to make fun social media posts and design kids club activities my range of creativity skills has also widened. Most surprisingly of all was how my swimming ability improved. On a recent visit back home I swam the length of my local swimming pool quicker than ever before!
As a Marine Educator I had the pleasure to work at the most fabulous resorts and I’m sure I’ll never have another office quite like the ones in Seychelles or Mauritius. The Indian Ocean offers a rich and beautiful diversity of marine life. Snorkeling or diving regularly led to some very lucky encounters. Some of my favourite sightings have included: the endemic Mauritian anemonefish (Amphiprion chrysogaster) in the magnificent anemone (Heteractis magnifica) to which it holds a symbiotic relationship; the crazy Mudskippers (Oxudercinae spp.) which spend more time out of the water than in; hawksbill sea turtle hatchlings (Eretmochelys imbricate) who battle so hard to make it out to the ocean, mobula rays (Mobula spp.) which fly unexpectedly through the air; and best of all watching the dolphins cruise playfully through the bay and lagoon. Sharing these experience with the guests was my favourite part of the job, however they also provided the inspiration for much of our marine education activities which were just as much fun to deliver.
Before I started working for WiseOceans; Seychelles and Mauritius were just two tiny dots on a map. Now to me they are home. With the opportunity to live and work in these paradise islands I have loved exploring the mountains, the beaches, the towns and most of all the underwater world. I have made friends with interesting people, tried new foods, attempted to speak Kreol (unsuccessfully) and often forget to wear any shoes.
Overall I have made the most of my time in each of these special places, gained the best possible experience from the role and loved every minute of the adventure. Now for the next one…